A work in progress

Conn Library over halfway done with renovations

Melanie Alyea, Staff Writer

The renovation of Wayne State’s Conn Library has surpassed the halfway point, with only two phases to complete until the end of the project.

The renovations started in spring of 2014 and despite some delays, the project is scheduled to be finished by summer 2017.

“For the most part construction is going as planned,” library director Dave Graber said. “There have been some surprises, glitches and unexpected delays, but this is a normal part of any major building renovation.”

So far, renovations have taken place in most of the basement, as well as the west side of the first and second floors. This includes the installation of compact shelving for WSC’s print collection, a new circulation desk, half of the new IRC spaces and the new Jitters coffee shop. Several staff offices have also been completed.

The new main entrance is also open, and the patio south of the building is very close to completion.

“In addition to all of the obvious cosmetic changes, the core building infrastructure is in the process of undergoing major changes,” Graber said. “We are incorporating new heating and air conditioning systems, new plumbing, new network infrastructure and new electrical systems.”

The two phases of renovations that remain to be completed are mostly on the east and south side of the building.

“We have completed approximately half of the remodeling. By fall semester the east sides of the first and second floor should be completed, and the new north entrance will be open,” Graber said. “Students will be able to utilize the new Art Gallery, as well as new IRC resources and study spaces. Next academic year, we will be working on all three floors on the south side of the building. These spaces will include the Holland Academic Success Center, the Academic Commons and the WSC Archives.”

The construction of the Conn Library has been going on for almost two years now, and Graber understands some student’s frustration with the project.

“We do appreciate the patience that students have shown as we undergo these renovations,” Graber said. “At times the building has been a bit noisy, and temperature control has been a challenge, but the worst interruptions are likely behind us.”