Alkek Library Learning Commons Feasibility Study

Texas State University


Location: San Marcos, TX

Total GSF: 214,000 GSF Renovation

Completed: 2012


Texas State University, San Marcos retained PDR to conduct a feasibility study for their current Alkek Library, an iconic building from 1990 at the heart of campus. The purpose of this study was to assess the current and growing programmatic needs, to introduce a Learning Commons, and to provide a necessary technological update.

Existing programs are rearranged and re-sized based on future needs and current modes of learning. Program priorities include an improved entry sequence, the addition of a cafe, “instant theater”, technology showcase, collaborative study areas, new service points, exhibition space, event space, and a media lab. The report recommends a phased improvement strategy, and is divided into three periods: immediate, mid-term, and long-term.

The goal of the first phase is to assemble a combination of learning spaces with support staff and blended service points on the entry level providing an opportunity to prototype various learning environments in a flexible, exciting, updated space. The second phase allows for expanded partner programs (Student Learning Assistance Center) to be closer to the entrance, combined with an expansion to programs tested in the first phase. The final phase recommends a new off-site high-density storage facility to free up space and allow an expansion of programs and events space collocated with Alkek’s superb special collections; the Whitliff Collection.