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Hale Library Blog

Functioning AC, first floor progress and clean books

A year ago if you walked through the building after the fire, you would have experienced varying degrees of destruction. Today, you’ll find varying degrees of progress.

The building renovation is moving forward in phases — and moving quickly.

In the mechanical room on Hale Library’s roof, crews have replaced the old, damaged ceiling that covered one of the fourth-floor stairwells. From left to right, photos were taken on April 29, May 2, May 6 and May 14.  

The penthouse that houses new heating and cooling units got a coat of paint recently.

Crews paint the exterior of the penthouse on Hale’s roof. Only a few weeks ago, the structure looked like a plywood lean-to with plastic sheeting covering the doors and windows. May 17, 2019. 
New air handling units have replaced the old ones that were badly damaged in the fire. April 29, 2019. 

Inside, the mechanical equipment is in place and ready to go online so the many, many work crews in the oldest portions of the building will be able to work in an air-conditioned environment this summer.

As Hutton Construction superintendent Mike Watkins showed us recently though, behind the clean white walls, there are still traces of the fire.

Watkins stands inside the penthouse and shines a flashlight into the space where the fire-damaged Great Room ceiling is still visible. May 17, 2019.

Meanwhile, on the first floor, the future home of the Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons is taking shape. It seems less like a cavernous concrete rolling rink and more like a space that will be ready to welcome students for the fall semester.

At left, a photographer and videographer from local media outlets document construction workers on Hale Library’s first floor. May 17, 2019.
Crew members work on mudding the newly installed drywall in the corridor at the west end of Hale Library’s first floor. May 20, 2019. 

On second floor, demolition is in mid-stride and the space is scheduled to open for the spring semester.

On the north side of the building behind the old Library Help desk, piles of duct work and metal framing are separated from the rest of the debris so they can be recycled. May 20, 2019. 

Things are moving so quickly that we have a window of opportunity. If we’re going to incorporate enhancements that will make the new Hale Library an improved environment for students, we need to raise additional funds now.

Insurance will cover like-for-like replacement costs, but when it comes to making Hale better than it was, we’ll have to rely on private dollars. More reservable study rooms, more classrooms or even more outlets to accommodate students’ innumerable electronic devices: Those will have to be funded above and beyond insurance dollars.

If you’d like to support the Help for Hale fund, you can make a contribution online.

Crews have removed damaged drywall from librarian offices on the west end of the second floor. May 20, 2019. 

At every turn there’s another space in which the old, damaged materials have been cleared to make way for the new.

Piles of floor tile debris sit near the emergency exit doorway closest to the English Department Building. May 14, 2019. 

Plenty of old things are staying, though. For example, not all of the furniture was a total loss. Some of the salvaged tables are currently stored on the second floor in Historic Farrell Library, the 1927 portion of the building.

Dozens of wooden tables are safely stacked in the former IT offices on second floor. Since the porous plaster walls in this space are still drying out, no construction activity is scheduled for this part of the building. May 6, 2019. 

Where are the books? Most of the 1.5 million items are in storage units in the old limestone caves under Kansas City.

The 1955 stacks are dark and mostly empty. Some levels are filled with salvaged shelving and office furniture. May 6, 2019. 

However, the cleaning process is ongoing. All of those boxes of materials are rotated through our facility near the Manhattan Regional Airport. They come in soot-stained, and they’re unboxed, individually cleaned by hand one at a time, and treated in the ozone chamber. Then they’re reboxed and sent back to a storage unit filled with clean boxes.

Workers use chem sponges and vacuums to remove soot residue from Hale Library materials. April 29, 2019. 

At this point, more than 65 percent of our Hale Library collection is clean.

With projects moving forward on so many fronts — book cleaning, construction on first, demolition on second and more — we’ll be providing frequent building updates over the summer.

If you’d like to provide some Help for Hale in support of some of these efforts, please visit the KSU Foundation’s online giving page for Hale Library renovations.

 

 

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