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University at Buffalo buys book storage site

The University at Buffalo has agreed to acquire the off-campus facility where it stores more than 1 million hardcover library books, bringing the building known as the Libraries Annex under its direct control for the first time.

UB will pay $3.5 million to buy the 17,691-square-foot complex at 3850 Rensch Road from owner Buffalo Archives LLC, which is Savarino Cos.

The school has been leasing the facility for its book storage since 2005, transferring books there to address overcrowding on shelves as its libraries have become more electronic and the university has created more learning and study spaces.

The high-density storage system, built by a developer after UB investigated a range of options, is modeled after facilities and guidelines used by other large universities and public libraries.

The facility, which includes a reading room, a document delivery center, staff work areas and parking, can handle 1.5 million volumes. To date, about 1.3 million books have been transferred to the Annex, but are still accessible by students, faculty and others.In the meantime, the school still has enough space to grow its collection for another 10 years, using more than 75 miles of shelving, according to UB’s library website.