The start of the library-to-learning commons project brought some obvious changes to the area around the library this past month.
We now have a construction fence around the building to help us avoid construction equipment and stay safe. The trailer for the construction offices arrived and was assembled at the south end of the building.
The construction crew is now preparing the interior of the building for the reconfigured learning commons space. Much of this work involves removing materials, and sometimes walls, that will be replaced or not needed in the changed building. The dumpsters on the east side of the building are for those materials. For example, as much as we all liked the bright orange carpeting on the third floor — or not — it will be removed. Parts of the electrical system in the building, including lights and outlet locations, will be different in the new building, so the old fixtures are being removed. Please be assured that we are recycling as much of this material as possible.
In a few weeks, major external changes will begin. The learning commons needs to be accessible to all of the campus community. This will require removing some of the older parts of the building to make way for upgrades and improvements. The entrance facing the Clack Building, for example, was deteriorating and needed removal regardless of the renovation. The Learning Commons will have new entrances from the Mac Mall and the northern courtyard, both without stairs. An entrance will be added on the south side of the building, facing the Reid-Knox Administration Building.