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September 29, 2023

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Library entrance remodel may cost up to $10,000

The University Library is looking to enhance its curb appeal with a new entrance for the fall 2013 semester.

The library was constructed in 1967, meaning the weather had 46 years to wear down the entrance.

“Rain becomes an issue and eventually starts to break down the cement steps,” said Sara Bushong, director of the University Library. “The entrance doesn’t have an inviting feel to it, it’s really kind of crumbling.”

When the Learning Commons was built in Sept. 2011, the library planned on matching the newer interior with an upgraded exterior, she said.

“We think we’ve done a lot of improvements inside already, but the outside doesn’t look as good,” Bushong said.

One of the driving factors for an upgraded entrance is the large amount of prospective students that make their way to the library every year, she said.

Nearly 1,700 students and their parents visited the library last year with tour groups, according to a statistics sheet from Bushong.

Similar to the wave of prospective students who visited the library last year, current University students also put the entrance through their paces.

University students used the entrance over 457,000 times during the 2011-2012 school year, about a 20 percent increase from the previous year, according to the statistics sheet.

“The library has become a busier place because of the tutoring and technology opportunities,” said Bruce Meyer, assistant vice president for Campus Operations.

The entrance will have a clean and sustainable look along with a “green space,” an area with plenty of plants and benches, he said.

It is still in the early stages, but the steps, concrete walls and surrounding landscape will be addressed, Meyer said.

Campus Operations is currently working on the estimates with contractors, but it’s possible the revamp could cost more than $10,000, he said.

The entrance revamp will be funded by Central Services, which receives its funding through tuition and state subsidy.

Past projects, such as the steps at Williams Hall and the landscaping on the Moore Musical Arts Center’s east side, ranged from $5,000 to $10,000, Meyer said.

Those projects had either concrete or landscaping work done, but the University Library’s entrance will need both, meaning they could need a bigger budget.

However, some students believe the project could be worth the fiscal cost.

“I think they really need a new [entrance],” said Sean Bostater, a University senior. “I think if someone hasn’t been to the library, finding the entrance could be difficult. I know when I first went to the library, I tried using the second level’s entrance,” he said.

The second floor entrance is currently reserved for emergency exits only, but it could be used as a main entrance when the project begins construction this summer, Meyer said.

“We’re really waiting for the weather to break, which is hopefully soon,” he said. “Precipitation could slow down the project, but our goal is to have everything done before classes begin this fall.”

The library is heavily trafficked by students every day, and Campus Operations is trying to improve the exterior to go along with the Learning Commons and technology upgrades, Meyer said.

“I think the library has gone through a renaissance with all of the new learning environments and soon a new entrance,” he said.

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