The College plans to place four trailers around North and South Campus that will act as temporary study spaces while construction crews work on the new library over a two-year timeline.
The College hopes to match the amount of study space provided by the Olin and Chalmers Library during the period when the library is no longer available from Sept. 2018 to 2020.
Vice President for Library and Information Services Ronald Griggs said this plan is tentative. The College is still deliberating over which existing spaces they will repurpose as study spaces, according to Chief Business Officer Mark Kohlman. The College will place three trailers on Ransom Lawn and one between Norton and Watson Residence Halls.
The administrative team working on the interim library plans includes Griggs, Director of Collection Services Chris Hudson and Associate Vice President of Library and Information Services and Library Director Amy Badertscher. They hope to remodel the Philomathesian room in Ascension Hall, now a lecture hall, into a study area over the summer. Along with these options, they will invite students to study in the two new buildings replacing Farr Hall on Gaskin Avenue.
Originally, the College planned to find retail operators for these three new spaces. Now, they plan to create study spaces in these rooms and will find retailers after the library is finished.
The administration will also improve existing study spaces by adding library furniture and expanding available seating. “We think we can take the study furniture in the library and relocate them to spaces and recreate the same amount of seats,” Griggs said. For instance, the Nu Pi Kappa room in the third floor of Ascension could accommodate 10 to 15 additional seats, Griggs said.
The administrators are still in the process of designing the floor plans for these spaces. The planning is not yet finalized.
Badertscher said that details will emerge over the semester, but right now, the idea is to make the library furniture available in different places and have maps and handouts available so students know where the alternative spaces are on campus.
Griggs, Hudson, Badertascher and Kohlman hope to collect student input for the new study spaces. In an open meeting on Oct. 12, they asked students various questions, such as what percentage of the spaces they would want to be designated as silent study rooms.
The administration is seeking student comments and there will be two more student forums held on Nov. 7 in Olin Auditorium and Nov. 30 in Cheever Room at Finn House.