As students settle back in on campus this fall, many have most likely noticed the continued progress on the new library construction. As the winter months approach, that also means the return of the winter weather and currently the construction is focused on weather proofing the building before that time comes.
The biggest changes one can notice are to the exterior of the building which has changed dramatically. Over the summer the vast majority of the outer brick work and roofing was completed.
Travis Perry, the Director of Capital Operations and Planning on campus, noted that these were critical elements of drying in the building. This is an important step in the construction process as built up moisture from construction must be pulled out of the foundation and other materials.
Currently the construction team is focused on finishing the windows and curtain wall glass. This part is critical to the continuation of construction as it will not only protect the building from the winter weather but also allow the crew to begin more work on the interior.
As far as the interior of the library construction is concerned, it is still very much in the early development phases. Perry said that progress has been made on much of the interior basics such as plumbing and the initial electrical work. Progress can also be noticed on the stonework and walkways that will surround the library’s exterior. There are plans to build several new walkways and plazas around the library and much of that work has already been started as well.
“This work will continue in the coming weeks and months,” stated Perry, “but the head start they’ve achieved before cold weather arrives, will make a big difference.” The library is still currently on schedule for a completion date of summer 2016, making the 2016-2017 school year the first that the library will be open and operational.
For many students, the construction has been met with mixed feelings of excitement and annoyance. Junior Branden Cantrell noted that he was impressed by how much progress was made over the summer. Many students have expressed their joy that the college is expanding and are eager to finally be able to use the new library. At the same time there are feelings of frustration, as the construction has changed the paths for students throughout the year. As we continue to move closer to the library’s completion however, most students seem to remain optimistic and enthusiastic about the new library and resources that will be available.