Comprised of three member institutions, the Research Collections and Preservation Consortium located in Princeton Forrestal Center is the largest of its kind in the country. Housing overflow from Princeton and Columbia Universities and the New York Public Library, the current 164,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art library, when fully constructed will total 252,000 sq. ft and have the capacity to hold over 35 million books and media items. Each module is designed with temperature and humidity monitoring systems and load-bearing, maximum foreseeable loss walls to withstand extreme conditions like fire.
The design for the RECAP project was divided into three development phases. Under Phase 1, construction was completed on a 21,800 square foot Receiving and Processing Center and Storage Modules 1 through 4, encompassing 58,800 sq. ft. from 2001 through 2004. Other improvements under Phase 1 consisted of a 26 car parking area, driveway improvements south of the Receiving and Processing Center, and a 99 car temporary parking area, including 26 land banked spaces, and a service drive located to the north of said building.
Construction was completed on the 26,540 sq. ft. Module 5 in March 2008. During the expansion, 5,000 roof-top solar panels covering 53,000 sq. ft. were installed on the new and existing modules. Construction was completed in 2013 on a 3,200 sq. ft. expansion to the Receiving and Processing Center, and Modules 8 and 9 (combined 55,680 square feet). Demolition of the existing Guggenheim Building and parking lot owned by Princeton University were required prior to the construction of this Phase. Site improvements included the construction of a “bioretention” swale.
Modules 6 and 7, designed and approved, are awaiting demolition of the existing Princeton University Gas Dynamics building for construction to commence. Construction of the 35,000 sq. ft. Module 10 is anticipated in the future.