The official grand opening & ribbon cutting ceremonies for the Lindenwood Library and Academic Resources Center (LARC) built by Blanton Construction, were held on September 16, 2017.
All those in attendance on the Lindenwood University St. Charles campus were very interested in the use of SageGlass; also known as “dynamic glass or electronically switchable glass”. This smart glass can be used to create unique lighting and it was used artistically in the large windows to resemble a grove of linden trees – the native trees from which Lindenwood University takes its name.
What is so special about SageGlass is that it provides sunlight control automatically, to reduce the sun’s glare and reject heat while maintaining a view of the outdoors for the occupants. It is estimated to reduce HVAC use by 20%. Furthermore, it only takes the equivalent of about three (3) 60W light bulbs to tint. This “magic” glass will also minimize the ultraviolet rays, which will be a great help in preserving the gorgeous interior finishes on the LARC. There are seven hues shown in the glass which include shades of gray, green and blue that make up the tree images. The tinted changes in the varying hues are subtle with the objective being to create a grove of trees that those inside the LARC can connect to the backdrop of existing real trees on the Lindenwood campus.
While all agreed the building is a stunning addition to the campus, what faculty and staff are most excited about is the new learning opportunities this building presents to the students. Besides the gorgeous “magic glass”, the LARC houses a multimedia theatre, a student academic support office & student spaces where students can meet to work on projects together as well as a Starbucks Coffee shop on the ground level and the LARC is also home to the university’s IT department. The building does an excellent job of combining high tech interior with the stately and historic look that Lindenwood University in St. Charles is well known.
The LARC is 100,000 square foot, three story, four-level facility and is the largest in the development that has taken place in the last 15 years at the university. Prior to building the LARC building, Blanton has completed approximately $250 million worth of work for Lindenwood over that 15-year period. The building association between Blanton Construction and Lindenwood University began when Blanton founder Ben Blanton served on the University’s board of directors. At the time, Dennis Spellman was the President of Lindenwood and he had big plans for expanding the university.
After plans to build the first new residence hall on the site stalled with the contractor initially chosen, Ben Blanton agreed that his company would build the dormitory if there were no overhead & profit on the project. That started a long relationship between Blanton Construction and Lindenwood University and Blanton still builds everything for Lindenwood that same way – “without overhead & profit”. As President of Blanton Construction, Jeff Blanton puts it “we have been blessed to be part of Lindenwood’s expansion and what it has done for St. Charles.”
Other building constructed by Blanton Construction over the past 15 years with which you might be familiar are: The Spellman Campus Center, Evans Commons, Lou Brock Sports Complex, Harlen C. Hunter Stadium, Hyland Arena, the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts and eight residence halls.
Blanton Construction has been happy for many years now with its frequent work with LePique and Orne who was the architect for the new LARC as well as the Harlen C. Hunter Stadium. LePique and Orne have been in St. Charles since 1916 and both LePique and Orne along with Blanton share a real love for taking historic venues and bringing them into modern times while keeping the feel very historical. The just recently opened LARC is yet another example of that. We appreciate the trust that Lindenwood University has placed in us to keep their campus looking very historical all while keeping up to the minute with technology and learning facilities that attract students from all over the United States and abroad.