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Hale Library Blog

Author: Darchelle Martin

Building Update: Floors 3-5

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on the progress of the upper floors at Hale Library. The third, fourth and fifth floors are in varying stages of construction, but no matter where you look you can see progress.

As we make our way up through the building, third floor is currently one of the most active construction areas.

Several construction workers work on new office space in Hale.
Construction crews work on office space on the North side of Hale on the third floor.
A line on the concrete floor depicts the location for a new classroom.
Towards the East end of third floor, a line on the floor outlines the location of a new, large classroom for library instruction. Beyond this classroom will be books and quiet study space.
Two construction workers use a saw on the third floor of Hale Library.
Dozens of workers can be seen throughout the third floor. This crew was set up towards the Southeast end of the floor.

As we move up to the fourth floor, much of the space is utilized as a wood shop to repair and restore the wood from the third floor Great Room.

Dean of Libraries, Lori Goetsch, and Associate Dean, Mike Haddock, talk with a worker. They are surrounded by wood in various stages of repair.
Dean of Libraries, Lori Goetsch, and Associate Dean, Mike Haddock, get an update about the progress with the wood repairs in the middle of the fourth floor.
A row of large beams.
In another portion of fourth floor large wood beams sit ready to be stained. Each piece of wood is carefully labeled so it can return to the same location in the Great Room.
A worker uses a tool on a wood acorn fixture.
A worker restores one of the wood acorns that adorned the ceiling in the Great Room.
Wood acorns sit on a table. One of them is stained.
Workers have started to stain some of the wood including this acorn that will return to the ceiling of the Great Room.

The Academic Learning Center (ALC) will go back to their same fourth floor location towards the Northwest end of the fourth floor. The ALC is a partnership between K-State Libraries and K-State Athletics that provides space for student athletes to receive academic support including one-on-one tutoring.

The entrance to the Academic Learning Center overlooks the atrium on the third floor.
The entrance to the ALC on the fourth floor overlooks the foyer outside the Great Room which will include a new exhibit space. The “We Are the Dream” mural that was located on the back wall of the ALC has been taken down, cleaned and restored. Once construction is complete, it will return to its original location.

And lastly, the fifth floor, which saw the least amount of damage, will receive a few upgrades. In addition to new carpet and ceiling the Libraries will create a new digitization lab thanks to a generous contribution from the Butler Family Community Foundation.

Large open space on fifth floor of Hale Library with an arrow that points to the location of the new digitization lab.
The new digitization lab will allow the Libraries to scan and preserve rare and unique materials from the Richard L. D. and Marjorie J. Morse Department of Special Collections. Those items would then be available online for anyone to view.

A new seminar room will also be added for the Morse Department of Special Collections. Previously, staff had to conduct instruction in the middle of their reading room where other patrons were also conducting research.

A circle highlights the spot where a seminar room will be added on the fifth floor of Hale Library.
The new special collections seminar room will be located on the other side of this wall. It will provide needed instruction space for classes and groups using special collections material.

We are incredibly thankful for the gifts that have made this progress possible. It is exciting to think that at this time next year, we might be sitting in a fully renovated Hale Library! Support is still needed to fund improvements to Hale Library. On this Giving Tuesday (Dec. 3), consider a gift to Help for Hale and support our renovation efforts.

Second floor progress update

Most of Hale Library’s second floor is scheduled to open during the spring 2020 semester. We took a peek at the progress and could tell the new space is really starting to take shape!

This floor plan shows some of the exciting new features planned for the second floor. The Info Commons, shaded in purple, will be open this spring and include nearly 100 computers.

Since there is now a direct entrance to the first floor, we are moving the second floor entrance a little further to the West. This will allow us to re-purpose some space for seating, create a better pathway to our help desks and shorten the distance of the hallway leading into the building.

Here you can see where the new entrance is located for the second floor. The former hallway to the East of the new entrance will be used for additional seating.
This was previously the entrance to the second floor. Soft seating will be added to the new space with plenty of natural light from the gorgeous arched window.
The beautiful, high ceilings and original light fixtures in the new seating area will also add to its appeal.

When students walk into the second floor they will immediately see our new Library and IT Help desks. These two services will now be co-located providing campus with more convenience and better assistance.

The Library and IT Help desks will be located directly across from the new entrance. In addition, new consultation rooms will provide spaces for staff to work with patrons on in depth questions.
This wider shot shows the Library and IT Help desks in relation to the rest of floor. On the left side of the photo is the East wall of the stacks. Similar to the first floor, we will expose the limestone walls and add more white boards.
The East end of the second floor will be filled with computer stations and study tables with additional seating next to the windows.
While most of the drywall is up on the second floor, construction continues throughout this floor and the three floors above it. We’ll have more on that in our next post!
How many gallons of paint do you think it will take to paint the walls in Hale? Lots of paint has already gone up on second floor.

Just for fun, we also took a peek inside the new cafe space on the first floor. Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Cafe will also open during the spring 2020 semester.

The stonework is complete on the fireplace feature. The tape on the floor is actually the pattern for the ceiling, which will utilize salvaged wood from Hale Library.

In other exciting news, we announced yesterday that the first floor Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons will begin 24/5 hours starting Sun., Nov. 3. This is another service made possible by renovation efforts. We could not be more thrilled to bring this service back for K-State students. Happy studying!

Make yourself at home!

We are in the thick of the fall semester, and the Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons on the first floor of Hale Library has been busy with students working on projects and studying for exams. In fact, during the last few weeks the first floor has averaged more than 7,600 visits each week.

A sign reads "Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons"
New signage was installed welcoming students to the Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons.

The experience of returning to Hale Library felt like coming home for those students who were at K-State before the fire.

Student sitting in a chair next to his skateboard.
Kevin is a junior studying secondary education and said he used to spend up to six hours a day in Hale before the fire. “I was pretty overwhelmed when Hale first opened up again,” he said. “I reminisced about the good times I’ve had here. The first hour or two after it was open and already seeing whiteboards full of equations, it was awesome.”

We’re paying close attention to how students are using the new spaces to help us plan for the rest of the building. In fact, a team of librarians are conducting an assessment study. They record student use of the space multiple times each day. This data helps us understand which areas and types of furniture are the most heavily utilized. The results will impact the remaining floors.

One feature that has been a big hit with students is the abundance of whiteboards, some of which stretch from floor to ceiling.

A student sits in a room with her laptop.
Macie, a junior in pre-nursing, said she is excited about all the new whiteboard space on the first floor. “The whiteboards are great! I’m in human body so it’s great to have the space to write and draw the pathways of the body,” she said.

Ah, yes. Biology 341. Perhaps no one gets as much use out of the whiteboards as these students. But, do they really need floor to ceiling whiteboards? Students like Danielle have found them useful!

A student writes out her biology work on giant whiteboards.
Danielle, a junior at K-State, explained that this massive diagram was for her biology class.

The Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons also includes new technology. Dozens of large monitors are spread throughout the floor that students can connect to their devices.

A student works on his laptop in Hale Library.
Chance is a junior majoring in construction science. While working on his estimating homework Chance told us that having multiple screens makes it easier.

While students are excited about the first floor of Hale, they can’t wait to see the rest of the library. Students are looking forward to the new quiet floors that will be located on the third and fourth floors.

A student in a green shirt sits in a chair with his bookbag.
Nestor, a junior studying business, thinks the new library has a fresh feel and is excited for the other floors to open. “I’m looking forward to a new quiet area…like the Great Room coming back,” he said. “All the buildings were packed last semester. I’m glad Hale is back.”

The second floor of Hale Library is scheduled to open during the spring semester. The rest of the building should be complete by the end of 2020. Support is still needed to for the remaining restoration and renovation of Hale Library. Donate online to the Help for Hale fund!

We’re just getting started

A few short weeks ago, we opened the Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons on the first floor of Hale Library. As we watched students walk through the doors for the first time we saw lots of jaws dropping, many audible gasps, and we even witnessed a few tears of happiness.

Students walking into Hale Library
Students walk through the Sunflower Entrance doors for the first time on August 28, 2019. Prior to the renovation, this was a wall with windows which caused many a student great confusion about how you actually got into the library.

Since the opening, Hale Library has been bustling with students thankful for the new space to study and collaborate. These spaces wouldn’t be possible without the 2,400 donors that have given to the project so far.

Photo of two students smiling, standing next to a whiteborad in Hale Library.
Blanca (left) a senior in kinesiology and Emireth a junior in biology say they are grateful to have the first portion of their library back. “It really does affect our grades and schoolwork,” said Blanca. Emireth added that a lot of students find it distracting to study at home, so they turn to Hale Library.
A digital sign in Hale Library thanks Dave and Ellie Everitt.
A sign at the entrance of Hale Library thanks Dave and Ellie Everitt for their generous contribution. The Everitts provided the lead gift for the first floor renovation.

Now that the first floor has opened, the Libraries must turn their attention to the remaining four floors which still require philanthropic support to create spaces as impactful as the first floor. Donations can be made online to support the renovation and restoration of the rest of the building.

An infographic show future updates and plans for the renovation
Plans for the next phases of the renovation include restoring the Great Room, creating new graduate student study rooms, and improved infrastructure throughout the building. The project will also turn the first and second floors of Historic Farrell Library into beautiful reading rooms with unique collections and tons of natural light. Previously these spaces were taken up by office cubicles and tall bookshelves with minimal seating.
A student sits in a chair smiling
Kevin, a sophomore studying architecture said he feels that buildings like Hale Library can make a difference for students. “I believe buildings and places have an impact on student psychology and their emotions,” he said.

The Friends of the K-State Libraries have also been strong supporters of the renovation efforts with $250,000 dedicated to the project to date. Since 1984 the Friends have advocated for a strong library system that enriches the student and faculty experience. The Friends have dedicated their efforts over the past several years towards raising funds for improvements to Hale Library. The Libraries and K-State students are grateful for their efforts.

A student smiles at the camera in a busy Hale Library
Taylee just finished her B.A. in English at K-State and is now in her first year of graduate school. She describes Hale Library like a community and a home. “There’s always somebody here that I can come and talk to and cry, or take a nap, or do homework, or eat lunch. I can do anything here, which is nice. Away from my actual home where I get distracted.”