The construction of the new library will begin in June 2018 and is expected to last until the summer of 2020. During this period, the College will provide a variety of study spaces throughout campus. The plans for these study spaces have been updated and continue to change.
Creating interim locations for the new study spaces will involve adding more study spaces in existing buildings and adding temporary modular units, according to Vice President for Library and Information Services Ronald Griggs. There will be four trailers, three of which will be on Ransom Lawn. The fourth will be between Watson and Norton Residence Halls.
Some of the existing locations that will be repurposed to hold more seats include the Gund Residence Hall lounge, the Gund Commons game room and computer lab, Philomathesian Hall on Ascension Hall’s second floor and Nu Pi Kappa room on Ascension’s third floor, according to Associate Vice President for LBIS and Library Director Amy Badertscher. These rooms will have furniture from the library added to them.
“We are working trying to make those things easier so that the inconvenience will be minimal,” Badertscher said.
Two Village retail spaces are also among the temporary locations designated for studying and will hold around 100 seats, with 50 in each building. Once the Bookstore moves to its renovated space, construction for the Village retail spaces will begin. Seth Millam, the construction project manager, expects the Bookstore to be finished by the second week of spring break.
The goal is to finish construction for the Village spaces by Oct. 1, but there is a chance that it will be delayed until November, according to Griggs.
The library has around 600 seats, and using the same furniture, the study spaces will have just as many seats. “The working idea is that there will be no net loss,” Director of Collection Services Chris Hudson said.
Hudson is on the logistics team planning how to manage library services and study spaces during the construction. The logistics team continues to work on plans as to how they will arrange the chosen study locations and hope to have plans finalized by May 1. “Our plans continue to make small adjustments,” Griggs said.
Some library policies may change to make the temporary study spaces easier to navigate in. For example, LBIS might extend the loan rules for borrowing computers to make access easier for students, according to Badertscher.
All the books in the library will be kept in a storage building on the east edge of the athletic facilities by the Kokosing Gap Trail. The construction for this building started at the end of last year, according to Millam. During the next academic year, students can check out books from this building on a request system through the LBIS website and they will be able to pick up their requests after they are delivered to the modular units. This semester, the catalog has been updated with this request system for books to help students get used to the new feature of the library.
There were several open forums for staff, faculty and students to discuss proposed plans earlier this year, and as plans finalize, the team hopes to show updated plans to the students for feedback.
The library will be closed to the public after graduation, and the moving-out process will start by the end of May.