By Ronica Hutchison–
Since spring break, furniture has been moved and shelves have been dismantled in Ekstrom Library to make way for new, comfortable study spaces.
Workers in Ekstrom Library have been clearing some of the third floor for the first phase of renovations. The space is currently being cleared for the first phase of construction focusing on the Delphi Center’s new Teaching Innovative Learning Lab, set to be complete by fall 2016. The first and second floors have been designated as more social spaces, and the third and fourth floors will become study zones.
The Delphi Center has also expanded, mostly through the TILL. This area will provide space and equipment for faculty to learn and experiment with innovative teaching methods.
The TILL is a part of the university’s 21st Century Initiative, supported by Interim Provost Neville Pinto. It will include a large learning lab, collaborative spaces, conference rooms and offices for Delphi Center staff. Construction will proceed throughout the summer for limited student disruption.
Students also may notice the relocation of third floor study spaces. These areas—usually full of large group study tables—have been moved to the second floor, where recently upgraded lighting will better serve students.
Ekstrom also plans on upgrading its Robotic Retrieval System to include a new arm for physical reference books and materials. Additionally, there will be expanded online databases, available via the library’s website. Library Dean Bob Fox saw this issue as key priority in library renovation, and has pushed relentlessly to move it forward on the agenda.
SGA’s Academic Vice President Alexander Stewart is excited about the renovations.
“Although SGA did not play a direct role in these particular changes of the library, I did have multiple conversations with Dr. Fox, dean of the library, and Bruce Keisling, director of Ekstrom, about these changes and the impact they would have on U of L’s campus,” Stewart said. “With student success at the top of their priority list, I am incredibly excited to see these new, great changes affect both the students and faculty at the University of Louisville.”
Future renovations to the third floor are also in the works—including new study areas and furniture—and will be begin during later phases of the library’s makeover.
File photo / The Louisville Cardinal