May 1, 1996
Library Renovation Making Progress
The remodeling of the UW-River Falls Chalmer Davee Library is moving along well despite recent bouts of cold weather, with construction activities to be complete by this late fall, according to facilities engineer Jim Murphy. Originally the completion date was set for Oct. 24.
"I think we're going to be close, maybe a few months difference," Murphy said.
The project calls for a $7.1 million renovation that will add 24,000 square feet to the structure, originally built in 1954. The existing 110,000 square feet are undergoing extensive renovation.
When they arrive on campus in the fall, students can expect to see the outside of the library finished; however, remodeling will still be taking place inside to finish up a central study area that will include new study carrels and a reference and help desk, Murphy said.
Though all construction won't be quite out of the way by the beginning of fall semester, students will have access to all areas of the library through a new main entrance, which will be located in the southwest corner of the library. No longer will they have to use separate entrances as they did this year, Murphy said.
Currently, construction workers are putting up brick facing on the outside of the building. Library Director Christina Baum says that is a welcome milestone in the construction process.
"The outside is starting to look nice, like something is happening," Baum said. "It looks different."
Particularly important, Murphy said, is getting the brickwork completed on the southwest corner so that the roof can be completed in that area and the ultimate library entrance can be made ready for use.
Murphy expects the southwest lobby to be completed by the end of the spring semester in late May.
The lobby area will house the circulation and check-out counter on the first floor and the writing and journalism labs on the ground floor.
Already concluded are the movement of the library Archives and Government Documents section to their permanent locations. The old Government Documents area on the north side of the library is being demolished so that the periodicals can be relocated into that space. The demolition and move should be concluded by the end of June, Murphy said.
Long-term goals include moving all book stacks to the second floor instead of the current arrangement in which stacks were located on both floors. The change should be finished by the end of July, Murphy said.
Virgil Nylander, vice chancellor for administration and finance, said the final product will be worth the wait and the inconvenience of renovation while the building remains in use.
"The good news is that when we look to the future, we look to the prize," Nylander said. "That prize is a new library that's much more compatible for student and faculty use."