Library to undergo renovations this summer

Major renovations are coming to St. Augustine Hall beginning this summer with completion expected by summer 2009.

According to Theresa Maylone, University Librarian, reconstruction of the basement, third and fourth floors of the library– the bulk of the renovations, are planned to start May 15, continue throughout the summer and end on August 15.

There are also plans to remodel the second floor as well, said Maylone. However, renovations on that floor will not begin until next summer and that level will be used as a temporary swing space until next year pending completion the following summer, she added.

Maylone also mentioned an improved heating and ventilation system is planned to be installed in the library and with the remodeling, 24-hour access for students is an idea currently being thrown around.

Currently, designs are being discussed with architects and sketches of the planned renovations should be made soon, she said.
Although different components have been added to the building over the years, this will mark the first time a large-scale renovation will be done on St. Augustine Hall in its over 40-year history.

“We hope these renovations will help better maximize the amount of space we have and to help create a kind of space that better reflects what St. John’s should have in a library,” Maylone said.

Although plans are not concrete yet, the second floor is being planned to accommodate professors from the Philosophy, Theology and English departments from the College of Professional Studies and St. John’s College, Maylone added.

Besides housing professors, the area, which is slated to be called the Humanity Center, may also include seminar space and a space for material from the library relating to the aforementioned disciplines.

Maylone said plans to renovate St. Augustine Hall have been in the works for a while under the University’s Master Plan.
However, there was recently a revision in that plan which included moving up the date of library renovations to this summer that was approved last December by the University’s board of trustees, she added.
Maylone mentioned that changes to the library will not be based on solely on University officials, but the students as well.

On Feb. 11-19, a survey on St. John’s Central was released to find out how students use the work space in St. Augustine and to gather feedback on what they felt needed to be improved upon in the remodeling.

Maylone said she was thrilled with the survey responses, which she reports as at 47 after the first hour and a total of 853 responses submitted by the end of the week.
“The comments we received were thoughtful and indicated that there is a strong desire for change since a lot of people took the time out to indicate what they feel they need,” she said.

Maylone said top student requests include more quiet study space, more electrical outlets for laptops, more computers and printers and a general improvement on how the library looks.