University Library will undergo renovations this summer

Christopher Hook

Students may not recognize the University Library this fall, as it will undergo a series of renovations starting early July.

The project, designed to make the library more attractive and accessible, is scheduled for completion by the beginning of fall semester, said David Creamer, senior vice president for administration.

Changes will be made to floors two, four and 10.

The second floor executive offices will undergo a $2 million expansion to accommodate new administrators. In addition, study and reading rooms will be erected.

On the fourth floor, a new writing commons will replace the older commons in Satterfield Hall. The research carrel and reading area on the floor will be removed.

The 10th floor Special Collections and Archives will be expanded through a $435,000 donation, which was set aside from a total gift of $935,000, by Gerald H. and Victoria Read. The late Gerald H. Read was a former Kent State professor.

The expansion will accommodate more than 100,000 volumes accumulated since 1969 and will double the size of the original space.

The second floor will see the biggest change in the library: The addition of a suite for two vice presidents will force the periodicals desk and collection to move to the center of the floor.

Jessica Gardner, assistant professor and periodicals manager, said the move will make her desk much more “visually accessible.”

“It’s going to improve the floor,” she said. “We’re optimistic about it.”

The bookshelves now standing empty in the north wing of the second floor will be removed, and new study and reading rooms will be constructed.

“We wanted to create an attractive place for students to congregate,” said Creamer.

He also said the renovations are important because of the location of the executive offices.

“It’s been discussed for the past couple years,” he said. “The Board (of Trustees) was concerned with the reception the dated carpet has. This is the place where the president meets people.

Creamer said the $2 million renovation is funded by the operating budget, which is made up of year-end funds. These funds, which are saved for capital projects, are unused balances left over at the end of the year when the budget is closed out.

Creamer said these renovations are all examples of “freshening the campus” to create a friendlier atmosphere for students, faculty and community members.

“We have a lot of buildings built in the 1960s and 1970s,” he said.

The plan was approved at the April 25 meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Contact news correspondent Christopher Hook at [email protected].