Conn Library remake Phase 1 almost done

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Melissa Norris, Staff Writer

It is not just students whose daily lives are interrupted by the library construction.

Library Director Dave Graber spends whole mornings in construction meetings and keeps a hard hat in his office.

The most notable progress made for students over winter break was the new side walk that bypasses construction, lends easier access to the library and prevents further damage to the grass.

“We had hoped that that was going to happen sooner than it did. The sidewalk got put in the Monday after finals. It means a lot less mud, not only for the library, but for the surrounding buildings as well,” Graber said.

Over break, much of the outdoor atrium, patio and storm shelter work was continued. However, most of the progress occurred in a place students do not yet have access to see: the basement.

“The basement is really far along. Painting is largely completed and the bathroom tile is going in as we speak [last Thursday morning]. Cabinetry and shelving is going into offices,” Graber said. “They will be delivering the compact shelving soon. The elevator tower is scheduled to be completed this month. That is the scaffolding [students] can see outside.”

Still to come in the basement is more electrical and plumbing work as well as work on the new computer lab.

While most updates from Phase 1 of the construction plan will be completed by early April, the areas will not be open to the public until the end of the semester. However, all of these areas, including the new main entrance, will be open to the students by the fall semester.

“Certain areas will be open late April, early May, but one of the things is that even if the areas are complete in April, there has to be an inspection process for all the areas and that is time consuming,” Graber said.

Phase 2 of construction will not start until about May 12, after finals week.

“We want to limit noise in the last three weeks. We will wait a few weeks so we won’t make a lot of noise during finals week,” Graber said.

However, May is a long way off. For now, and over the course of the next few weeks, students can expect to see lots of books moved around as the new compact shelving is installed.

For more pictures and updates on the construction process go to