November 29th, 2000
By JEFF KING
West Virginia University continues to be on schedule with an array of building constructions and renovations.
The highly anticipated addition to Wise Library remains on schedule and is expected to be completed by December 2001. The $36 million project will add more than 90,000 square feet.
“There was a need for additional library space, particularly study space,” Vice President of Administration and Finance Scott Kelley said.
Administrators hope that a variety of meeting rooms and quiet enclaves will be more conducive to studying than the old library.
“It will create a wonderful atmosphere for students to come and study,” Kelley said. “They needed rooms where they could go and complete their course work.”
Several themed rooms, similar to Wise’s current Appalachian area, will be built to accommodate various collections.
“We’ve always had a shortage of space for our collections,” Kelley said.
The Wise addition also hopes to be compatible with new advances in technology. Rooms will come equipped with outlets where students can connect their own laptops.
Because of the difficult structural formation of Wise’s stacks rooms, the addition is being constructed entirely separate.
“It made a lot more sense to put an addition out front,” Kelley said.
The two buildings will be joined by a glassed-in walkway featuring skyline views and several seating areas. It will also serve to protect the marble facade on the front of Wise.
“The new addition maintains the architectural integrity of the existing library,” Kelley said.
Wise was already the biggest library in the state of West Virginia. Administrators hope to have the addition open by spring semester 2002.
The project is being managed by Turner Construction, a firm based in Pittsburgh. It is part of WVU’s ongoing campus renewal.
“It will be a stunning building and a wonderful place to visit,” Kelley said.
“Little good is accomplished without controversy,
and no civic evil is ever defeated without publicity.”
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