The first phase of a project to revamp the University Libraries will include a three-story, 9,300-square-foot addition on the north side of Mortensen Library, with floor-to-ceiling windows on each level providing scenic views of the Park River. On the main level of Mortensen Library, the new addition will house a "learning commons" with technology-rich academic study spaces and a new resource desk. The upper level of the addition will feature balconies that look out over the learning commons.
The Allen Library, which houses music and dance materials and supports Hartt School programs, will move to a new 6,475-square-foot space on the lower level of the Mortensen Library building, but will maintain a distinct identity. The new Allen Library will be larger than its current facility, which is located on the top floor of the East Wing of the Harry Jack Gray Center. It will have more seating and stacks than the existing facility, and will include four listening rooms and two seminar rooms.
Construction is slated to begin this spring, with completion of Phase I scheduled for May 2017. Phase I of the libraries plan is the only phase that will involve the construction of an addition; future phases will focus on renovating existing spaces. Phase II is likely to include a renovated main entrance and outdoor seating that takes advantage of the Harry Jack Gray Center courtyard.
A construction committee has begun the planning stage of a renovation of Gengras Student Union. In consideration is an addition at the existing patio and also a possible second addition.