The first floor of Axe Library is currently being renovated in phase four of the planned renovations. The changes and additions to Axe Library will include an open floor design, additional study rooms, a redesigned Axe Grind Coffee Shop, new service points, and dedicated tutoring spaces.
Randy Roberts, dean of library sciences, says they began construction this summer and hope to have the project and renovations completed by the beginning of the fall semester in August.
“This is our fourth year of renovations in this recent project,” Roberts said. “This phase that we are working on this summer has been in the planning for a long time, but we started in early June and hope to be very close to done and reopen by the beginning of the fall semester.”
There will also be a new entry added to the east side of the library. Instead of having to walk all the way around the large parking lot that is behind the library and in front of McPherson Hall, students and others on campus will be able to enter in the new entrance on the east side.
Roberts hopes to see the renovations attract more students to the library and that the renovations will be an upgrade.
“We want to create these different environments,” Roberts said. “We will have some social areas obviously around the coffee shop, conversation type areas. We will also have some additional more private spaces. We will have locations where we hope that students will… come together for tutoring and larger group study… We just hope it will be a big improvement. We are going to have different service points in the library. It used to be the old circulation and check out desk and the reference desk and so forth and so we are going to have some new services and new service points there as well.”
Employees of Axe Library have been relocated for the duration of the construction.
“We have relocated employees through the summer,” Roberts said. “…We will be relocating (employees) on some of our service points and those people that were on the first floor… will be in new locations on the first floor or immediately adjacent to the first floor for the back area. So yes, this is a very major project on first floor and so a lot of our faculty, staff, and student workers have been impacted this summer.”
Roberts hopes to see everyone come out and celebrate the reopening of the library where they might also be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the opening of Axe Library.
“… We certainly will invite everyone to come see us when it is completed,” Roberts said. “We are in the early stages of planning sort of a grand opening for the first floor and it will also be a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the opening of the building. Axe Library opened in October of 1979, so we are coming up on our 40th anniversary and we want to kind of make note of that when we do the grand opening for this current remodel phase.”