SICAL: at work

Only about a half of the year left to conclude construction works of the Scientific Information Center and Academic Library (SICAL) – a joint venture of the University of Silesia and the University of Economics in Katowice. Today, a press conference took place at the construction site presenting works progress.

So called a hybrid library, the Center will make accessible all types of documents and media types as books, magazines, data bases, e-books, audio-visuals and teaching materials for disabled. “The SICAL was designed as a complex organism of institutions, technologies and people working together at one place. Its high-level goal is to merge scientific, information and culture tasks. Thanks to that, it is able to meet requirements of present users. The new library will face a clichéd image of boring and unfriendly libraries” – said Jadwiga Witek, Spokesperson of the SICAL.

A development of the building will also impose meaning on image of both universities and the City as the academic center. “The conjoint Library of two universities is a key project on the strategic investments’ map of Upper Silesian growth. A chief objective of the project is to mark new directions of dynamic and innovative local economy based on knowledge” – said Wiesław Banyś, Rector of the University of Silesia.

Project Manager, Dariusz Pawelec, pointed out an architectural meaning of the SICAL’s design. “A library is an important place in public spaces of self-respecting cities. So, it is a must to create a building which will be in concert with an urban architecture and a city life’s beat” – he added.

More than 60 percent of the construction works are done. Builders are currently finishing the elevation of red sandstone’s slabs. The sandstone is originally came from the foot of the Himalayas in northern India from where is transported several hundreds of kilometers south to be prepared as slabs. Then, are sent to Poland by sea. It takes 2 months in average to prepare and to transport each part of the slabs to Katowice. The elevation of red sandstone covers about 4 000 sq. meters.

A total value of the project is estimated at PLN 79,45 million, including PLN 52,82 million from the European Regional Development Fund, ERDF. The architectural design of the SICAL was prepared by Dariusz Herman and Piotr Śmierzewski from HS99 based in Koszalin, Poland. Mostostal Warszawa S.A. is the prime contractor of the project. According to the company, the construction works are ahead of schedule and the complex will be completed in June 2011. An opening of the Center is planned in October 2011 – one year earlier as it was previously proposed.

  • Scientific Information Center and Academic Library in numbers:
    – 4 004 windows,
    – approximately 4 000 sq. meters of elevation are covered by red Indian sandstone slabs,
    – 2 building blocks = 7 storeys, including 6 above the ground (lower building block: 63,75 m x 46,25 m, upper building block: 48,75 m x 16,25 m),
    – site area: 12 203,47 sq. m.
    – construction area: 2 910,00 sq. m.
    – total building area: 13 260,49 sq. m.
    – total area of the underground level: 2 755,89 sq. m.
    – total area of the aboveground levels: 10 504,60 sq. m.
    – typical floor area of the lower part: 2 600 sq. m.
    – typical floor area of the upper part: 600 sq. m.
    – gross cubic area: 62 559,70 cu. m.
    – about 2 million tomes is planned to be archived (about 800 000 books and magazines in the first phase of operation),
    – almost 1 000 people will be able to stay at the building at one time,
    – 56 252 running meters of book-shelfs (32 book/1 running meter).
Scientific Information Center and Academic Library under construction