Summer began with a bang in the Katharine Brush Library. As members of the Class of 2012 were receiving their diplomas, library personnel supervised the removal of all resources and furniture from the first floor and construction crews moved in to remove fixtures, carpeting, and other structures in preparation for the renovation project. Planning for the first floor renovation has been under way since fall 2011 with Library Director Eric Styles, Physical Plant Director Greg Walters, and others refining multiple iterations of the design, which will create more group study spaces, new classrooms, and a dedicated set of offices and resources space for the new Center for Global Studies.
“Libraries have changed drastically over the years; however there have been limited changes within the Brush Library which was designed in 1968,” said Greg. “The renovation is going to allow for improved use of the library space by creating quiet study areas, traditional study areas, and an improved, functional layout.”
The outdoor porch, previously only usable in the warmer months, will be one of the areas undergoing the most significant change. . The new porch will be enclosed with glass, making it functional year round, while maintaining the beautiful view of the Meadows it offers. The enclosed space will be repurposed for the two new classrooms and a study room. The new design for the porch will increase the usable space of the library by 17 percent.
Glass plays a central role in the renovations, and will allow more natural light into the library. In addition, new soft lighting will alleviate some of the harshness of the old florescent lights. There is a conscious effort to make the library a more pleasant place to study, with more soft seating, new shaker-style furniture, and a new drop ceiling.
Currently, the construction workers have finished all of the demolition. In the next few weeks, “they are working to put in the new walls and glass in the porch in the coming weeks,” says Eric. The construction should be complete by the beginning of the new school year. Follow the project progress on Eric Styles's Flickr page.