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Hale Library Blog

Building Update: A “Back to School” like never before

The fall semester has officially begun, and here at the Libraries we are especially excited to have students back in the building.

It has been both an exhilarating and challenging experience welcoming students and patrons back to the Libraries after the summer break. As our staff work hard to help patrons and students while prioritizing safety, we want to say thank you to library visitors who are following guidelines and doing their best to keep their fellow Wildcats safe. We are all learning together through these unprecedented times, and we appreciate visitors’ patience and positive attitudes regarding COVID-19 guidelines.

K-State students study on the first floor while wearing masks.
K-State students practice social distancing while studying in a nook on the first floor.
On the second floor, masked students study near the east end windows
On the second floor, masked students study near the east end windows.

We also are thrilled about the progress with the upper floors. While work on the fifth floor has mostly paused for the moment, the third and fourth floors have undergone a rather dramatic transformation in just the last few weeks alone. The third floor, in particular, looks very polished with brand new carpeting, ceiling tile and lighting. The fourth floor has received further plaster and ceiling work as well.

The third floor is now carpeted, with board walkways for crew members.
The main area of the third floor is now completely carpeted. The tan-colored walkways are boards that crew members use to get around the space to avoid walking on the carpet.
The area outside of the Friends of the K-State Libraries Instruction Room is carpeted as well.
The area outside of the Friends of the K-State Libraries Instruction Room is carpeted as well. In the future, this area will have more soft seating.
This is a recent picture of the second floor of the Innovation Lab, looking toward the Historic Farrell entrance.
This is a recent picture of the second floor of the Innovation Lab, looking toward the Historic Farrell entrance. As you can see, the space is really starting to take shape.
A picture of the fourth floor, still under heavy construction with dim lighting.
The fourth floor of the library is still under heavy construction, with crew members focusing on the replacement of pipes and 

ceilings.

Crew members work on repairing plaster in the fourth floor Academic Learning Center.
Crew members work on repairing plaster in the fourth floor Academic Learning Center. This area overlooks the event gallery space on the third floor.
A picture of the walls surrounding the Great Room murals, painted purple, cream and green.
The areas surrounding the Great Room murals have been painted with purple, cream and sage green. It is so exciting to see some fresh color come into the space!
A picture of a Great Room mural, with white cornices, or decorative moldings on either side.
There are three new cornices, or decorative moldings in the Great Room – one each at the east and west ends of the south wall, and one on the north wall. The other original cornices were cleaned and painted white. The plaster repair company took molds from the original cornices to create the three new ones.

It is heartening to see that despite the challenges the Libraries and K-State are facing this semester as a whole, people are still working together to create something beautiful and meaningful. We love seeing students explore the new spaces and hear their remarks on what they think of the renovation. Most of all, we relish the chance to remind them that while Hale Library might look pretty different, it is still a safe space for them to learn, and our staff’s mission to be of service has not changed.

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