Construction on library under way


    The library is undergoing a series of renovations, starting with the addition of a new entrance.

    The west side of the Mary Couts Burnett Library is set to become TCU’s newest construction zone.

    Crews began carving a main entrance on the west side facing University Drive at the end of finals week last semester.

    Library Dean June Koelker said the library would be open next semester, but a small part in the back of the quiet section will be off limits.

    The new entrance is scheduled to be complete by the end of the 2014 spring semester.

    Koelker said the new entrance must be completed before further construction can commence because it will become the only way to enter the library once the second part of the renovations begin.

    The front entrance to the library, the lobby and all three floors located to the right of the lobby (the loud section) are now closed for renovations. The west wing (the quiet section) will remain open during the construction.

    Koelker said to accommodate for loss of study space, the majority of the bookshelves in the west wing will be removed and replaced with tables.

    Additionally, a portion of the less frequently used books will be relocated to an off-campus annex, and will still be available for students to use upon request.

    The majority of the information commons, and the computer lab will be moved into the west wing.

    However, Koelker said that the “frog pods,” reservable semi-enclosed study areas located in the loud section, may pose a challenge.

    “What I’m concerned about on the ‘frogs pods’ is the structures. I’m sure the tables and the computers can be moved, but because of the ceiling heights, I’m not sure yet about the structures.” she said.

    Koelker said she would try her best to make it as accommodating as possible; her biggest concern, however, is the noise.

    “Construction can’t happen without noise, and I know that,” she said. “We are just going to have to do the best we can.”

    The main purpose of the renovations is to expand seating to accommodate more students. Additionally, there will be more group study rooms, a larger rare-book vault and a seminar room for special collections and archives and more space for graduate students at TCU and the Brite Divinity School.

    “There needs to be more seating.” Koelker said. “I really do not like seeing students sitting on the floor. There is nothing wrong with sitting on the floor, but students at a private school should not have to be sitting on the floor because they can’t find a place to sit.”

    Courtney Walsh, a sophomore business major, said she usually has no problem finding a place to sit, except during finals.

    Walsh said she is concerned, however, that seating will become a problem when construction begins.

    “I really don’t know where I’m going to study when half of the library is under construction,” she said. “But what’s worse, now I don’t even know if there will ever truly be a ‘quiet section’ next semester.”

    Brock Boren, a senior neuroscience major, said he is glad he will be graduating before the second set of renovations begins.

    “I think I can speak for all pre-med students when I say that we need to have spots in the library to study. Many of our classes require 10-15 hours of studying a week.” Boren said. “With the loud section being closed, I suspect many students will resort to studying in their rooms, which I have always found to be almost impossible.”

    Koelker said that once the renovations are complete, there should be enough seating to accommodate close to 20 percent of the student body.

    The entire project is estimated to be complete within fifteen months, Koelker said.