By Amanda Heersink | University Communications
DENVER - Since 1976 the Auraria Library has been a place where students can expand their knowledge and find a quiet corner to do their homework. But in the last several years it has become more and more difficult to find a small unoccupied corner for yourself. That is why the library has begun a multi-phase process to renovate the building.
The administration found out what exactly the students, faculty, and staff were looking for by taking surveys and really listening to what it was that people were requesting. The top things that the surveys revealed was people wanted more places to be able to sit and that they needed more electric outlets.
In general, the building just needed a facelift.
The library just finished the first phase of the process, which included moving most of the staff offices to one location instead of having them all over the library. “We really wanted to consolidate the staff to allow for more collaboration on the team,” said Catherine Ostrander, director of development.
The other pieces of the first phase were adding six brand-new study rooms that will open in the next week. These rooms are complete with state-of-the-art flat-screen televisions and white boards and are reservable. The white boards were installed because staff noticed the popularity of stand-alone white boards in several other library study areas. Service desks were consolidated to three desks to make it easier for students and faculty to get information easily. The first floor restrooms were also all brought up to code, which included increasing the number of fixtures.
The next phase of the renovation will involve adding a café scheduled for completion by mid-August. Because survey results showed that students wanted healthier food options, potential vendors are required to include this on the menu so students will not have to walk across campus to get food when they are studying in the library.
The library administration hopes that the full renovation will be completed by 2016. This is dependent on securing all the necessary funding.
This includes raising $6 million from private individuals and foundations and $30 million from the State of Colorado. The Auraria Higher Education Center has moved the library renovations to the top of the priority list this year, which makes it more likely that the $30 million will receive favorable consideration from legislators.
“Phase one construction addresses top student and faculty needs,” said Mary M. Somerville, university librarian and library director. Ostrander added, “We are making this a better place for the campus”.