Major construction continues in Conn Library

State-of-the-art tornado shelter added to campus

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
Navigate Left
Navigate Right

Melissa Norris, Staff Writer

Rizzz. Krrr. Krrr.

If you’ve been anywhere near the library this first week, you’ve probably heard the sound of jackhammers and drills.

And even if you haven’t, no student could miss the giant hole in the middle of campus, on the east side of the library.

The Wayne State College Conn Library is halfway through phase 1 of the remodel set to be complete the summer of 2017. Phase 1 should be completed in early March.

During the past few months, the library has undergone many changes, most of which involved laying the ground work for phase 1 of construction.

According to library director David Graber, “Phase 1 is the northern two-thirds of the basement and north entrance. As part of this, Jitters will be moving to the southeast corner of the main floor.”

Over the summer, a lot of asbestos removal took place, while most of the heating and cooling in the basement was demolished.

Concrete was poured for the new network room in the basement. Also set to come, most of the windows are being replaced, and some will be floor to ceiling.

So what exactly is the giant hole in between Conn and Pile? Construction workers are digging it out for a basement storm shelter.

“After the tornado last fall, we realized the additional expense was worth it. Now there will be as good a storm shelter as you as could find anywhere on campus or in town,” Graber said.

While it’s obvious the construction is necessary, some students are wary of the change it has made on their daily routines.

“It’s a major inconvenience because of its location right now, because people use that major route through campus.

There’s no straight path around the library,” senior Nathan Seaman, an electronic media major, said.

However, he is excited about the changes happening to the library.

“It’s a good idea, it’s just hard being a senior and only being able to see the transition process and not seeing the finished product as a student.”

For the rest of the student body who will be around to see most, if not all of the finished product, the library staff and construction workers are working to make this as smooth and convenient as possible.

“With construction, there will always be a certain amount of dust and noise, but it won’t be daily, and we will shut it down during the last two weeks of the semester during finals,” Graber said.

In the meantime, students will be able to see the construction of the atrium this fall, as well as the outdoor seating and storm shelter that will be completed this spring.

Currently, there will be less seating and many former library facilities have been moved. The art gallery has found a new home in the Peterson Fine Arts Building and the multi media lab and archives have moved to Connell Hall until construction is complete.

“We’re happy about the changes taking place. We’ve been aware for many years that this building has not been meeting the needs of the students or the staff.

The end result will be much better for students and a much more comfortable environment to use,” Graber said.

For updates, pictures and videos of the library’s journey of reconstruction go to the Wayne State College Library page at