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Salem State University - Library and Learning Commons

The Berry Library and Learning Commons is the first new building on the University’s North Campus since the 1970’s and has become a focal point and gathering place for students and faculty.

On the interior, it brings together under one roof the entire library collection which serves not only the University but the City of Salem and surrounding region.

Project Details

salem library

Designer: Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott
Construction Manager: Lee Kennedy Company, Inc.
Project Type: CM at Risk
Project Cost: $73,500,000
Gross Square Feet: 124,000
Substantial Completion Date: July 2013

The Learning Commons consolidates a number of academic service departments, offering assistance in writing and academic subjects, helping students with disabilities and providing a gathering place for honor students.

The Quad – a greenspace created between the new facility and the existing Meier Hall Academic Building – has evolved into an actively utilized space for recreation, studying, and University events.

Project Features

  • Library includes space for books, archives, reference materials and periodicals
  • Circulation and reference desk
  • Instructional classrooms and group study rooms
  • Staff offices
  • Learning commons provides space for the writing center, honors program, Academic advising, learning skills
  • Support, disability services and a testing lab.
  • Internal stair with entrances at two different floors provides access between steep grades 
  • LEED Silver targeted
  • Ground-source heat pumps (geothermal wells)
  • High-performance glazing
  • Low-emitting materials
  • Daylight sensors and daylight harvesting to reduce power use
  • Improved storm water quality control
  • Reduced water use with low-water-usage plumbing fixtures