New library canopy aimed at increasing student comfort


Agnes Kurtzhals, Staff Writer

The WSC Conn Library’s new canopy renovation will allow students a protected outdoor area and is scheduled to be completed for use by mid-October.

“It will have glass panels in the roof to let light in,” Kyle Nelsen, director of Facility Services, said. “It will protect people from rain. The glass panels will be slightly tinted to shade some of the direct sunlight on the patio.” The canopy will be a structure that goes over the south patio at the library.

“Since the library was renovated a few years ago, we have always wanted the students to be attracted to the patio area,” Nelsen said. “Picnic tables were added, but we wanted to engage more students.”

“Our hope for the canopy is that the patio space will be more comfortable for students to use on hot days,” David Graber, the library director, said. “Because it is on the south side of the building, the patio gets very direct sunlight and can quickly become pretty uncomfortable.”

Nelsen said it will be a nice addition you can see across the common areas. The rendering of the renovated patio shows the idea of what the canopy was first designed to look like. It will not have a yellow tint on the panels and the umbrellas will be gone.

“We tried using umbrellas on the tables, but they simply haven’t been sturdy enough to hold up in the Nebraska wind,” Graber said.

The foundation work was done this summer and the canopy is planned to arrive at the end of September. The foundation for the canopy extends down beneath the patio into the storm shelter. Nelsen said it has a significant foundation beneath to hold it up.

Deliveries and materials were delayed due to COVID-19 causing a longer production time than previously expected. Nelsen said the company where the canopy was ordered from had some issues with keeping up. These delays have been similar for all the projects on campus the past eight months.