After three years of serving as temporary study and resource spaces in lieu of a library, the Library Buildings on Ransom Lawn will no longer take up space on Kenyon’s campus. Earlier this week, the College began removing these modular units, a process that was originally slated to start in September. Director of Project Planning and Management Seth D. Millam hopes that all three units will be gone by Thanksgiving Day.
According to Millam, the process of removing the buildings — which were closed since the semester’s start — began earlier this semester, and included disconnecting utilities, removing the utility contents and salvaging equipment. The removal crew also performed minor repairs on the units in order to return them in suitable condition.
The College installed these modular units late in the spring of 2018 in response to the closing of the Olin and Chalmers Memorial Library and were intended to maintain a similar number of study spaces for student use. The modular buildings were officially closed with the opening of the new Chalmers Library this past September.
“Once the last modular section leaves the site we will move forward with the site reclamation portion of the work,” Millam wrote in an email to the Collegian.
Throughout the summer, College staff worked to relocate equipment and supplies. From July until August, Library and Information Services (LBIS) staff worked to pack up all the equipment in the buildings, moving books from off-site storage to Chalmers with aid from an outside firm specializing in library moves. The College donated leftover furniture and shelving to several nonprofit organizations in the community, including Hope Now, the Knox County Historical Society and the Public Library of Mount Vernon & Knox County.
The open green space will return to its original use as a part of Ransom Lawn for the first time since 2018. This process includes the removal of temporary sidewalks and utility taps installed back in 2018. The College will then spread topsoil and seeds over the space, followed by fertilizer and overseed in the spring.
Students and faculty alike are glad that Ransom Lawn is returning to its original state. Associate Vice President for Libraries and Strategic Innovation Amy Badertscher noted she is happy to see the buildings removed.
“Seeing the Mods move off of Ransom Lawn is something I think we are all happy about,” Badertscher wrote in an email to the Collegian. “It will be nice to have that lawn as well as the expanded lawn in front of Chalmers for the students and events.”