Renovations on the second floor of William Allen White Library began last Monday. The construction will focus mainly on the library’s lobby and the second floor.
“It’s (the library) a helpful service on the campus,” said John Sheridan, dean of University Libraries and Archives. “This is a place for working as a team, working on group assignments.”
The project will cost around $200,000, and Sheridan said it would be worth it for students because once it’s completed, the lobby will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week as a study space for students. A “dusk wall” will also be built in the lobby, which will make the outside visible to the lobby from both sides of library.
“They are looking at it as a study area and socializing area,” said Richard Jensen, physical plant utilities manager. “(There are) all kinds of different ways for students to use it.”
Three years ago, the lobby underwent slight remodeling. After visiting some other universities’ libraries in Kansas, Sheridan said he realized that some of the libraries were open 24 hours a day, and Emporia State students were requesting longer hours for the library.
The reference desk on the first floor will be moved to the second floor and combined with the reception desk. All the desk functions will be centralized to the new second floor location.
“We are doing a lot of work, like rebuilding the offices now, so we can relocate people until then,” Jensen said.
The old librarian office, in the back of second floor next to the Writing Center, has been closed off and is currently under renovation. Sheridan said one change being made is the switch from cubicles to private offices.
For now, students are coping with the construction. Natasha Phoenix, senior biology major, said it could become inconvenient, but she’s dealing with it as best as she can.
“It doesn’t bother me right now,” she said.
An exact date for the completion of the renovations has not been set yet, but Jensen said it will be no later than July 1. The 24-7 space in the lobby will be put into use during the fall 2013 semester.