The famous – or perhaps infamous – orange carpeting in Beeghly Library is no more, replaced this summer with a new color palette of earth-tone flooring that brings the space into the 21st century. The prevailing feeling was “good riddance” to the original, 45-year-old carpeting. However, replacement beneath the many book stacks throughout the library proved to be no simple task.
Most of the library staff temporarily relocated to Pfleiderer Center during the bulk of the renovation project, which began in early July. After several weeks they have returned, and are nearing completion of returning the library to functionality in time for the arrival of students next week.
“The whole concept was to make the center circle the focus again,” said Nancy Rubeinstein, director of library services. The same deep brown carpeting that now covers the circular staircase also encircles the center area, which will have a new, inviting furniture configuration when students return. A lighter patterned carpet was installed in the circle and a complementary carpet in shades of beige, green, rust and purple now covers the floors throughout the remainder of the library.
The other change that will be most noticeable is increased space between the stacks to bring them into ADA compliance. Consequently, this reconfiguration provided some additional open areas around the outside perimeter and in other niches throughout the library. Rubenstein said groupings of tables, chairs and carrels will fill those spaces, making them more conducive for studying.
Students also will be able to take advantage of a “new” area. Space along one wall is equipped with several outlets previously used for language listening and music listening labs. “We had forgotten about those outlets,” Rubenstein said. Now, a tall table with stools can accommodate students using laptops; the library is a wifi hotspot.
Work crews were scheduled to complete all of the heavy moving of stacks and other items last Friday. All that remains is for the library staff to finish reassemble the space.
“From chaos comes order,” Rubenstein said. “With our new carpeting and the reconfigured stacks and furniture groupings, we hope we have accomplished our goal of creating a space that will be appealing for students to use and enjoy.”
Roof and window repairs will continue at the library throughout the fall.
The Beeghly Library carpeting project, completed thanks in large part to an anonymous donor, is one of many undertaken during the summer months. Included in the project list are both large and smaller undertakings:
- Saurwein Health & Wellness Center is completed and ready for its official opening on Friday, Aug. 24
- Lower campus parking and landscaping is ongoing. Currently, crews are installing rain gardens, the parking lot is being cleaned, coated and restriped, the sharp Rebecca Street-Hedges Street corner is being “softened” and that section repaved. Additionally, new parking lot light poles are being installed and improvements are planned for the Rebecca Street bridge.
- The Greenfield Street/East Market Street/East Perry Street construction project is due to reopen to traffic by Thursday, Aug. 23, with detail work continuing for several more weeks.
- Roof replacement at the Bryenton Honors House is nearly complete. The interior has been repainted and exterior masonry work is under way. Still to come: interior trim painting and installation of a patio and a widow’s walk.
- Several areas on the second floor of University Hall were renovated to accommodate Institutional Advancement & University Relations staff members who relocated from the Blue House.
- The Aigler and University Hall parking lots have been repaired and resurfaced, and the west and north exterior sides of Miller Hall have been repaired.