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Hale Library Blog

Category: Building

Building update: Work on the murals begins!

This week, we’re celebrating the start of restoration work on the murals! Over the next few weeks, Rachel Gilberti and her art restoration team from the John Canning Company will review the murals and work to bring them back to their original glory.

The murals in the Great Room gave been uncovered.
The murals have been uncovered for the first time in nearly two years and restoration work has begun.

Back in 2018, soon after the fire, Gilberti and a team came in to assess the damage and do as much immediate repairs to the murals as they could. Afterward, they were covered while the rest of the Great Room underwent its huge reconstruction and restoration process. Last week, the covers were taken off the murals for the first time in two years!

A picture of Rachel Gilberti in front of the murals.
Rachel Gilberti, fine arts conservator with the John Canning Company, holds acetate transparencies of the murals from two years and today. The transparencies show the difference in damage to the murals from right after the fire to how they look today.

The fourth floor has seen some significant progress lately, as crew members work on installing ceiling tile and mobile bookshelves. Further work has also been done on the graduate study rooms on the third floor, along with the staircase within the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab.

The stairs between the first and second floors of the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab are covered with wood temporarily.
The stairs connecting the first and second floors of the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab are currently covered with wood. After completion, the wood coverings will be removed to reveal stone steps.
The graduate study rooms on the third floor are under construction.
Graduate study rooms on the third floor will provide dedicated space for graduate students to use. 

On the first floor, students, staff and faculty have been able to visit and purchase items from the newly opened Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Café. Right now, visitors can purchase grab and go options and consume them in the café area.

Inside Joyce and Joe's Cornerstone Cafe, grab and go food and drink options are laid out for visitors.
The grab and go section of Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Café provides easy snacks and drinks for those who need a little extra energy while studying! The café will offer an expanded menu of made to order items later this semester.
A picture of crew members working on installing the rails for the mobile bookshelves on the fourth floor.
Crew members on the fourth floor have been installing the rails for the mobile bookshelves.
A picture of the southwest stairwell leading to the fourth floor, with a stained glass window.
In the southwest stairwell leading to the fourth floor is a stained glass window, undamaged by the 2018 fire. The circular sunflower window was made by Bill Hemminger in memory of Elmer Tomasch, an art professor at K-State during the seventies. Tomasch made the statue of Johnny Kaw in City Park.
Crew members work on repairing and painting the ceiling in the fourth floor corridor.
Crew members work on repairing and painting the ceiling in the fourth floor corridor. We’re super impressed with their ability to balance on the stilts they use to reach high spaces!

Next week on the blog, we’ll be sharing more details and pictures of the murals’ restoration. We’re excited to follow their progress!

 

 

Building update: Adding dimension and color

While students, staff and faculty have been adjusting to a new normal at K-State and within the community, work on Hale Library has continued at a rapid pace.

Libraries staff are ecstatic to see books back in the library. Stack A is now completely filled with books that have been cleaned, sorted and re-shelved. While the books will not be available to patrons immediately due to ongoing construction, it is still exciting to have books back in the library.

A picture of stack A completely filled with books.
Stack A is filled with books, thanks to the efforts of the Belfor team and Libraries staff!

With the third floor completely carpeted, crew members have started constructing furniture, such as study nooks behind the Friends of the K-State Libraries Instruction Room.

The inside of the Friends of the K-State Libraries Instruction Room, filled with carpet.
A glimpse inside the Friends of the K-State Libraries Instruction Room. While the room appears to be shaped like an ellipse on the outside, the inside is actually rectangular.
Study nooks have been constructed just out side of the Friends of the K-State Libraries Instruction Room.
Just outside the Friends of the K-State Libraries Instruction Room, study spaces have been installed for students to use. Libraries staff conducted assessment on the use of the first floor furniture and spaces and found that this design was popular with students. The assessment results were taken into account when deciding on furniture for the upper floors.

In the Great Room, the crew is working on painting decorative moldings and staining the bookshelves lining the room. The added color in the historic space is exciting to see. Art restoration specialists will officially start work on restoring the murals this week. We can’t wait to share pictures with you throughout the process!

The bookshelves that line the Great Room walls have been repaired and stained.
The bookshelves that line the Great Room walls have been repaired and stained. We love the beautiful finish!
A crew member works on painting the cornices in the Great Room.
A crew member works on painting the cornices in the Great Room.
A picture of the Great Room murals and bookshelves.
The John Canning company is scheduled to arrive with their equipment this week to begin the six week process of restoring the Great Room murals.
A picture of a corridor on the fourth floor of the building.
Looking toward the west end of the building, this is what a corridor on the fourth floor currently looks like.

Lastly, we wanted to share the exciting news that Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Cafe is officially open! The cafe, located on the first floor of Hale Library, is now offering grab n’ go options for patrons who want a snack while visiting the building. There are plans to expand to made-to-order options later in the semester.

We hope you’ll stop by for a visit and a bite to eat!

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.

Building update: Familiar spaces, new additions

We can’t believe that the start of fall semester is next week! Though we’ve encountered many challenges both on campus and throughout the community, the Libraries have forged ahead to ready the building for students as they return to campus and start classes.

Belfor team members stack boxes of books onto carts.
A very exciting piece of news is that the first load of books within the general collection has been moved back into the library! The sorted books were removed from boxes and put on the shelves within the stacks.
A picture of Kay Rieder and the Belfor team in front of shelves of books.
Kay Rieder, a Belfor team leader, poses with several team members in front of the first filled book shelf in Hale Library. Kay and her team have been extremely important to our success with the library materials since the fire two years ago.

Recently, the first floor of Hale Library reopened for the semester, along with the Math/Physics Library. This means that when students return to campus, they will have access to both floors of Hale Library and multiple resources to start classes strong. These resources include access to the IT and Library help desks, computer work stations, printers, study rooms and more.

The first floor of Hale Library looks even better now than it did when it first opened last fall. Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Café is nearly finished and has been filled with furniture. The new color-changing fireplace has been cause for much excitement. But don’t worry about the fire itself—it’s fake!

A picture of the cafe, filled with tables and soft seating.
The cafe furniture includes individual tables, a large high-top table and several soft seating areas near the fireplace.
Crew members work on welding the stairs within the Innovation Lab.
Workers are welding the staircase that connects the first and second floors of the future Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab.
A picture of construction equipment and materials within the digital media lab.
The interior rooms and work spaces within the Innovation Lab are being outfitted with new ceiling tile.

Much of the work on floors 1 through 3 the past week or so has revolved around installing carpeting and grinding metal stair pieces for staircases that are currently closed to the public. The third floor, in particular, has made significant progress.

The third floor, fleshed out with ceiling tiles.
The main area of the third floor is looking great and will be ready for carpet soon. This area will be filled with collections and study areas.
The west end of the third floor, with carpeting.
The west end of the third floor is now carpeted. We love how the third floor hallway has a modern look but still includes exposed limestone from the 1955 stacks addition!

It’s been an unusual summer here at the Libraries and K-State for certain, but we are excited to have students back in Hale Library and hope they fall in love with the new spaces as much as we have.

A worker on a lift paints the wall surrounding a Great Room mural.
A worker on a lift works begins to paint the wall surrounding one of the murals in the Great Room. The murals will be fully restored, with work starting this upcoming semester.

Building update: Sorting the collection and prepping the upper floors

As we inch closer and closer to the start of the fall semester, we wanted to share an update not just on the progress within Hale Library, but on the books that have been undergoing a rigorous cleaning and sorting process.

Our library materials have gone through quite the journey over the past two years. All materials had to be removed from the library, and each item had to go through a cleaning process. They were stored at various facilities including a restoration facility in Texas and several caves in Kansas City.

But now, the cleaned items are arriving back in Manhattan to be sorted. It’s quite a task…more than 147,000 boxes of books need to be reviewed for damage, sorted, and placed in call number order!

Boxes of books on wooden slats sit in one end of a big room.
The Libraries are using Executive Court as a sorting and staging area. We are grateful for the space to conduct this work!

For the past few weeks, Libraries staff, along with employees of Belfor, a disaster recovery and restoration company, have been unpacking and sorting books on temporary shelves set up at Executive Court. The books on the shelves need to be checked by staff to make sure they are in the correct order. We like to call this shelf reading! While time intensive, this is an important step to make sure that people can find the items they are looking for.

Dean Lori Goetch and other volunteers practice shelf reading.
Temporary shelves have been set up so that staff, including our very own Dean Lori Goetsch, can make sure the books are in the correct order.
A picture of Raymond Deiser working on the computer.
Raymond Deiser, library specialist, works on the computer to identify books that need extra help in getting to the right place on the shelves.

Thanks to dedicated staff, the book sorting is going well! We hope to begin reshelving books in Hale Library in August, though items won’t be immediately available for use in part due to ongoing construction.

Construction in the library is also going at a good clip, and the upper floors are starting to come together.

A construction worker is seen on the other side of an arched doorway.
Work continues on the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab. Here a construction worker can be seen through one of the historical arched doorways on the first floor.
A man walks through a doorway. To the right is a wall of limestone.
Historical details are highlighted through the building. Exposed limestone walls can be seen in several locations including outside the east entrance to the Great Room.
Several arched windows and concrete floors in Hale Library.
The third floor is looking more prepped and ready everyday. The east end of the third floor will include several study tables with lots of natural light from the arched windows.
The Dean of the Libraries looks over a railing in Hale Library.
Up on the fourth floor, the ceiling overlooking the new third floor exhibit space is ready for drywall. Dean Lori Goetsch looks down to the new exhibit space. The “We Are the Dream Mural” will go back on the wall directly in front of Dean Goetsch in the Academic Learning Center.
A picture of a classroom on the fifth floor under construction.
The Kenneth S. Davis Seminar Room in the Morse Department of Special Collections is taking shape. This new addition will allow our Special Collections staff to provide instruction with their materials in a separate space from their reading room, which is often occupied by researchers. 

Right now, we anticipate that floors three through five, as well as the Historical Farrell Library portions, will be opened to the public early next spring semester. It’s been very exciting to see the upper floors progress, and we can’t wait until we can share them with the community.

Building update: A new normal

It’s exciting to have people back in Hale Library! With the opening of the second floor, we are working to adjust to a new sort of normal on campus and at the Libraries, while keeping visitors safe.

A picture of the loggia entrance of Hale Library, with COVID-19 related signs.
Visitors to the second floor of Hale Library enter through the loggia entrance, where there are signs to help inform them about safety guidelines.

Our staff have many safety features in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including required use of masks, extra cleaning supplies available to patrons and limited seating areas and computer stations. It has been very exciting to see people come into the space to walk around and explore the new floor.

A picture of the help desks in the center of the second floor of the library.
The IT and Library Help Desks on the second floor have floor signs to help encourage social distancing.
Two students are pictured sitting and studying in the library.
On July 1, students came by the library to check out the new space and take some time to study. It’s great to see students back in Hale Library!
A picture of Kim Bugbee with her mask on, sitting in the loggia entrance.
Kim Bugbee, user services specialist, helped greet visitors to the library in the loggia entrance. The entire library user services team helped make sure that visitors knew where to go and how to follow safety precautions.
A picture of Libraries IT staff at a computer.
Our Libraries IT staff have also been working hard to make sure our technology is up and running.

In the Great Room, crew members are primarily focused on stripping and varnishing the bookshelves in the alcoves, as well as sanding the windowsills and completing any outstanding plaster work.

A picture of Brian Hawk varnishing wood near a Great Room window.
Bryan Hauck, a Riley Construction crew member, works on varnishing wood in the Great Room. Hawk was excited to work in the space and told us that his mother used to work in the basement of Hale Library. What a neat connection!
A picture of stripped bookshelves in the Great Room.
Before being varnished, the bookshelves are repaired and stripped.
A picture of varnished wood laid out along the length of the Great Room.
The varnished pieces of the bookshelves are laid out along the length of the Great Room to dry.
A picture of a Great Room window and construction workbench.
Even under construction, there is so much beauty in the Great Room.

We are particularly excited about Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Café located in the Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons on the first floor. The café is close to completion and the temporary walls separating the café from the rest of the floor have been taken down. The first floor will be open during the fall semester, but plans are still being finalized for the opening of the café, which will be run by K-State Housing and Dining Services.

A picture of the new cafe on the first floor of the library.
We can’t wait for students and the community to have a cozy place to study and grab a cup of coffee!

Building update: Jumping into July

As we jump into July, a lot of changes are coming to Hale Library. Besides the continuation of construction and progress on the building, the library will also welcome the public back for the first time since early March.

Starting July 1, the second floor of Hale Library will be open to visitors. Patrons must wear a mask or facial covering and practice social distancing while in the building. Services offered include access to the help desks, course reserves and computers. Extra steps will also be taken to promote safety and keep the environment clean. You can learn more about the reopening at our continuation of services page.

While the second floor will open to the public, the remaining floors continue to undergo a vigorous and rapid transformation.

In Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Café, the tile behind the counters was installed, and the fireplace was completed.

A picture of the fireplace inside the cafe.
The “flames” in the fireplace do not produce any heat, but they do change colors and will provide a comfy atmosphere. Safety first!
A picture of the faux marble counter in the cafe.
Behind the cafe’s front counter, tile was added in a geometric design.

The Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab is undergoing more plaster work and drywall installation. The specific rooms for equipment and varying labs are starting to take shape—it’s only a matter of time until we can start moving in some tech!

This picture shows the view from the middle of the first floor of the Innovation Lab, looking toward the entrance to Historic Farrell Library.
This picture shows the view from the middle of the first floor of the Innovation Lab, looking toward the entrance to Historic Farrell Library.

In the Great Room, the protective boxes have been removed from the murals so that workers can perform plaster work around the edges. Removal of the boxes will also allow art restoration professionals to begin work on the murals later this fall.

A picture of the west end of the Great Room.
The view of the west end of the Great Room from the fourth floor balcony is fantastic! On the left hand side, you can see one of the decorative columns that span throughout the room.
A picture of the covered murals.
The murals are still covered to protect them while the crew continues plaster work around the edges.

The Virginia Carlson Family Reading Room will house the juvenile literature and curriculum materials collections. Virginia Carlson was a graduate of Kansas State College in 1952, a librarian and teacher. Virginia’s family has studied in Hale Library for more than four generations and they have invested in the building to honor her legacy. We are extremely grateful for their generosity!

A picture of the Virginia Carlson entrance.
A new entrance into the Virginia Carlson Family Reading Room is under construction.
A picture of the wall ornament in Historic Farrell Library.
During construction and plaster work in Historic Farrell Library, several interesting architectural details have become more noticeable. Here, you can see a wall ornament on the first floor.
A picture of a crew member working on a lift outside the library.
Late last month, crew members also worked on fixing the seals on several external windows in the building. It’s good to make sure that the cool air stays in during these warm summer days!

The Libraries plan to have the first and second floors open to students and the community at the start of the fall semester, with the upper floors opening collectively in early spring of 2021. Keep an eye on this blog for more stories and updates as we get closer to the new school year!

Top 10 Blog Posts

A graphic that says, "Hale Library Top 10 Blog Post"

This week, we thought it would be interesting to look back at all the stories and updates we’ve posted in the last two years and share the top ten most viewed blog posts. A lot of progress has been made since the 2018 fire in Hale Library, and it is rewarding to see what stories have most resonated with the community following our story.

Below are the top ten most popular blog posts we’ve ever published, along with a quick synopsis of what each post focuses on. Feel free to click around and explore!

#1: After the Hale Library Fire: What’s past is prologue

This was our blog’s very first post, written just a few short weeks after the fire in Hale Library. In the aftermath of the fire, it quickly became apparent to us that we would have quite a story to share, and that the community wanted information about what happened to the library. We also knew people would want to see progress as we began the long journey to restore the building. In this first post, we shared the details of the fire, the heroic actions of the first responders who worked to save the library and pictures of leadership surveying the smoke and water damage.

A picture of Manhattan firefighters on the roof of the library.
Manhattan firefighters on the roof of Hale Library as the sun sets on May 22, 2018. Photo courtesy Manhattan Fire Department.

#2: Hale Library: Week five update

Another early post, this entry shared more pictures of the library after much of the damage had been surveyed. During this time, construction revolved mainly around demolition and removing damaged ceiling, dry wall and carpeting. A lot of the technology and furniture was damaged from soot and had to be disposed of as well.

A picture of a broken pillar decoration on a damaged table.
The Great Room tables sustained a significant amount of water damage from the 2018 fire. Unfortunately, they could not be salvaged.

#3: Building update: We’re in full swing!

This spring, we shared new photos of some of the spaces in Hale Library that were near to completion. This included Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Café. We also highlighted the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab and efforts by the Digital Fabrication Lab to create face shields for local healthcare workers battling COVID-19.

A picture of Jahvelle Rhone holding a face shield.
Jahvelle Rhone, media coordinator for the Media Center, holds a newly 3D-printed face shield. Jahvelle and the K-State Digital Fabrication Club have been using 3D printers to create these face shields for local healthcare workers.

#4: What happens to wet books?

After the fire, the books in Hale Library sustained damage from water and soot. The wet books underwent a very delicate and special process to prepare them for transportation to a cleaning facility in Texas. Check out this post to learn more about how wet books are saved.

A picture of many boxes filled with books.
The wet books sat in the Housing and Dining Services freezer before they were transported to Ft. Worth, Texas for cleaning.

#5: Exploring alternative study spots with Brenna

The fire in Hale Library made it impossible for students to continue studying in the building. Students were suddenly looking for new places across campus to study, and so we worked with a student, Brenna, to share good study spots that students could make use of while Hale Library was unavailable.

#6: Building Update: Taking Things to the Next Level

We shared this post just a few weeks before the pandemic hit—at the time, we were all prepped for the second floor to open. As such, this post mainly shares photos of the second floor being outfitted with soft seating and computer spaces. We also shared pictures of the lattice work wood ceiling being finalized in the Great Room.

A picture of the Great Room ceiling woodwork.
In February, most of the Great Room ceiling woodwork was completed, including the tresses and purlins.

#7: Hale Library featured on “Rescue Heroes”

In January of 2019, Hale Library and the emergency first responders who responded to the fire were profiled in “Rescue Heroes: Global Response Team.” The episode gives an overview of the fire, including interviews from rescue and recovery personnel, students and faculty. You can watch the segment highlighting Hale Library at the YouTube video we link to in the post.

#8: Building Update: It’s all about the atmosphere

In late April, we shared a building update about further progress on the library. The scaffolding in the Great Room came down around that time and the wooden ceiling was completed. Purple lighting was also installed throughout the first and second floors of the building.

A picture of the Great Room lighting from the balcony.
From the fourth floor balcony within the Great Room, you get a great view of the completed ceiling woodwork and the new lighting.

#9: After the Fire: Where are they now?

After the fire, more than 80 K-State Libraries staff and faculty were left without access to an office space. Thankfully, more than 13 offices and departments graciously welcomed our staff into temporary work spaces. In this post, we shared photos about where everybody ended up.

#10: Giving thanks for the Manhattan Fire Department and all first responders

Close to the Thanksgiving holiday in 2018, K-State Libraries staff visited the Manhattan Fire Department Headquarters to say thank you for their work in saving Hale Library. The post features some of the firefighters who helped combat the fire, along with photos of them in action.

A picture of a fire engine in front of Hale Library.
A fire engine extends its ladder onto the northwest corner of Historic Farrell Library. May 22, 2018.

Building Update: the upper floors

As summer approaches, we are closely following the rapid progress being made in Hale Library. This week, we’d like to highlight sections of the library that you might not have seen recent photos of, particularly the upper floors.

But first, an exciting update regarding the Great Room: the original bookshelves that were in the east and west alcoves are undergoing a vigorous repair process!

A picture of crew members repairing bookshelves.
Crew members repair the wooden bookshelves against the walls in the east and west alcoves in the Great Room.
A picture of a crew member varnishing bookshelves.
After the bookshelves are repaired, they are stripped and then varnished by hand. They look beautiful!

In other areas of Historic Farrell Library, further plaster work is being done on the first and second floors. In order to score the plaster, the radiators had to be pulled out. However, they will be repainted and eventually put back into place.

A picture of crew members working around a group of radiators.
The radiators have been pulled out from the wall and will be repainted before being put back into place. In the right hand corner, you can see crew members working on the plaster where the radiators were.
A picture of the third floor hallway, with the ellipse instruction room on the left.
On the left, you can see the ellipse shaped room, which will be a large instruction space made possible by The Friends of the K-State Libraries. On the right are future office spaces. The third floor will also have more books, giving it a more traditional library atmosphere.

Also on the third floor, work continues on multiple office spaces and the graduate student study rooms, located near the entrance to the Great Room. The study rooms will be in the same location they were previously, but they will be much improved.

A picture of the graduate student study rooms space.
The graduate student study rooms on the third floor provide a quiet study space specifically for graduate students.

The Academic Learning Center (ALC) on the fourth floor is also coming along. 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.

A picture of the ALC overlook balcony.
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.

On the fifth floor, mobile shelving is being removed in the Special Collections space in order to replace the mechanical system that moves the shelving units. The system is under the wood flooring and was damaged during the fire.

A picture of a room filled with white shelving units.
The white shelves in the space will actually be re-installed once the system is up and running. We are looking forward to having Special Collections return to this space.

As construction continues on these spaces, the Libraries are also working on a plan to reopen the completed areas of the building later this summer. Keep an eye on our website and the Libraries’ social media feeds for more information as it becomes available.

Rising from the ashes: the two-year anniversary of the Hale Library fire

A graphic that says "Hale Library 2 Years After the Fire"

Two years ago, on May 22, 2018 at 4 p.m., things at Hale Library changed forever.

The fire and the resulting damage from water and smoke impacted several sections of the library, including Historic Farrell Library and the Great Room. As a result, nearly 130 employees found themselves out of their regular workspace and into more than 13 temporary work spaces throughout campus.

As a way of recognizing the immense progress that has been made in the two years since the fire, we wanted to share photos that show the tremendous progress we’ve made. As we get closer and closer to completing the renovation and restoration of the library, we hope you find as much inspiration from these photos as we do.

A picture of the Great Room, damaged, with water on the floor.
The West end of the Great Room, two days after the fire on May 22, 2018. Most of the damage to the library was a result of the heavy smoke that traveled throughout the building and the water used to extinguish the fire.
A picture of the Great Room currently, under renovation.
The West end of the Great Room today, after significant restoration efforts. All the wood beams from the ceiling were taken down, repaired, restored and then put back in the exact same spot.
A picture of a damaged acorn finial.
The acorns in the Great Room were in strong need of repair following the fire.
A picture of repaired acorn finials hanging from the ceiling.
The acorn finials were repaired and varnished to get them in shape for being reattached to the ceiling.

The catastrophic damage to the library was a hit to the entire K-State community, as Hale Library is often viewed as the heart of campus, and a place where everyone is welcome to share a quiet moment of reflection or study. At the time, it seemed that the incredible task of restoring the 550,000-square-foot building would be the greatest challenge the library and its staff have ever faced.

Two pictures side by side of the murals and holes in the ceiling following the fire.
On the left, a hole in the Great Room ceiling is shown where the fire broke through into the room, taken June 28, 2018. Today, boxes cover the Great Room murals to protect them during construction. The murals are stable and will be restored after all construction is complete.

But now, two years later, the challenge lies not in finishing the restoration of Hale Library, but in preparing for what comes next.

Despite the impact of COVID-19, construction continues on Hale Library at a rapid pace. Every week, the changes at the library become more and more visible—we would say that the library is starting to look like its old self again, but that wouldn’t be true. Instead, Hale Library is beginning to look like its new best self, a mix of the historic and the future.

On the first and second floors, the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab begins to take shape, introducing a creative space that will open new doors for students and patrons as they tackle projects with the latest technologies. On the third floor, the historic Great Room is being restored to its former glory, but the acorn finials hanging from the ceiling are newly varnished, the murals are being repaired with the latest restoration techniques and desperately needed electrical updates flow throughout the space. Similarly, the first and second floors of Historic Farrell Library will also be restored to showcase their beautiful architectural details, but the spaces will have new purpose as they house distinctive collections and comfortable study space with plenty of natural light.

A picture of the first floor, full of damaged furniture.
This was what the first floor looked like on June 11, 2018; much of the furniture was temporarily stored on the first floor.
A picture of student studying on the renovated first floor.
Students were able to experience the new first floor which opened last fall. The Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons is a collaborative space with technology enabled group study rooms, open seating and so many whiteboards.

It’s these changes and more, that are beginning to reveal a next generation library.

A picture of covered furniture on the second floor.
The state of the second floor on June 14, 2018; furniture is covered with plastic wrap and being removed.
A picture of the renovated second floor.
The new second floor was completed this spring, and holds 99 computer stations for community use.
A side by side shot of the second floor sunflower window overlook; one is full of drainage tubes, the other with soft seating.
In June 2018, the second floor entrance was swarmed with white tubes that helped circulate air and dehumidify the building. Today, this second floor space has been repurposed into a “living room” area, complete with soft seating where students can enjoy this beautiful arched window.

We want to say a huge thank you to the library and IT staff for their patience throughout this journey, as well as their unwavering dedication to continuing to provide quality service to the community. We also want to extend our gratitude to the entire K-State community for their endless support.

In a year from now, on the third anniversary, it’s exciting to think about what it will be like in Hale Library. By then, the full library is expected to be open to the public and students and staff will once again have a place on campus to call home. The ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel is keeping our staff, in particular, positive and resilient. We also hope that by then, life will have returned to some kind of normalcy for us all.

It hasn’t been an easy road to restore Hale Library, nor has it been a short one. But we’re confident that the results will be well worth the wait.

Building update: We’re in full swing!

Spring is in full swing and we’re excited to share pictures of how things are growing at Hale Library!

Many projects are being fleshed out further and some spaces, including the Great Room, Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Café and the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab are visibly coming together. The Innovation Lab in particular is starting to take shape as crew members install drywall and create the rooms that will house technologies new to the library and campus.

A picture of the case coming along.
Various kitchen equipment has been installed in the cafe including refrigerators and reach-in coolers. With the counters now installed as well, this space is really coming together!

The Innovation Lab will be available to all students, staff and faculty at K-State, giving them access to new technologies such as digital media production, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, immersive digital environments and other emerging innovations. The lab will be located on the first and second floors of the library with a staircase connecting the two spaces.

The space also will include 14 3D printers, a Glowforge laser cutter and a studio that will allow users to record high-quality video with a single touch of a button. Two of the 3D printers will be FormLab SLA printers; these printers use ultraviolet light to create a strong but flexible resin often used for healthcare or engineering materials. The remaining 12 Ultimaker printers create materials by stacking melted material layer by layer.

A picture of Jahvelle Rhone holding a face shield.
Jahvelle Rhone, the media coordinator for the Media Center, holds a newly 3D-printed face shield. Jahvelle and the K-State Digital Fabrication Club have been using 3D printers to create these face shields for local healthcare workers.
A picture of Jahvelle Rhone and his family.
The whole family has been helping Jahvelle! Here, Jahvelle, his four children and his wife TeAndre show off the face shields they’ve been making. The DigiFab club has made more than 175 face shields so far to help local healthcare workers stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A picture of the digital media lab space, under construction.
This will be the new digital media lab. This space will be filled with computers containing various software including the same software that Disney animators use to create their works.
A picture of the future 3D print lab space.
This space located on the second floor of the Innovation Lab will host our 3D print lab with 14 3D printers.

The virtual reality room will allow visitors to explore their projects using 3D technology. For example, an architecture student would be able to view a 3D rendering of a building project as if it were right in front of them.

A picture of the future virtual reality lab space.
Three large screens will be installed in the virtual reality room on the first floor. In this picture, the pale yellow wall in the middle will hold the middle screen.
A picture of the future one-button lab space.
Work continues on the one-button studio, which will allow users to record high-quality video with a single touch of a button.

Crew members are continuing plaster work on the Great Room and installing light fixtures. With every new day, the space is looking more and more trim and polished!

A picture of the Great Room walls covered in pink adhesive material.
The pink material on the walls in the Great Room is a special bonding material that allows for better bonding between plaster and plaster, or concrete and concrete.
A picture of crew members working on plaster in the Great Room.
Several crew members focus on repairing plaster in the Great Room.
A picture of a crew member with ceiling lights grouped on the floor.
The white cylinders on the ground are actually ceiling lights for the Great Room; they sure do look bigger when they’re on the ground!

We hope you enjoy seeing the progress in Hale Library as much as we do, and we are thrilled that we are able to obtain regular photos to share with the K-State community. Our next blog post will be an extra special one, as we look at the immense amount of progress that has been made since the Hale Library fire nearly two years ago. Stay tuned!

Building Update: 20 months

It’s a new year, we are 20 months post-fire and we just started the spring 2020 semester at K-State. We are feeling energized! Over the course of this year we will watch as Hale Library nears the finish line of a two and a half year recovery, restoration and renovation project. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we are amazed at the progress made in just the last few months.

Several construction workers install ceiling tiles on Hale Library's second floor.
On Dec. 11, 2019 several workers installed the ceiling on the West end of the second floor.
The east end of Hale Library's second floor has sheetrock and ceiling installed, but not flooring
On the same date, the East end of the second floor was almost ready for flooring installation.
New carpet can be seen throughout the second floor of Hale Library.
Just a few weeks later on Dec. 26, 2019 the second floor was looking fresh and clean with new carpet throughout. Most of second floor is scheduled to open after Spring Break.
The second floor of Hale Library can be seen on the other side of a glass wall.
On the other side of this glass wall, there will be new help desks for both library and IT help. Previously, these two help desks were in separate locations. Now it will be easier than ever for our users to find help. (Jan. 13, 2020)

Up on the third floor, construction has started on a new 60-person classroom for library instruction. The large instruction room is made possible through fundraising efforts by the Friends of the K-State Libraries.

Steel framing creates and oval shape where a new classroom with be located.
On Dec. 11, 2019 the large instruction room was starting to take shape, literally. The outside of the instruction room with have a unique ellipse shape.
A large classroom is enclosed in the middle of the third floor of Hale Library.
Fast forward to Jan. 9, 2020 and the classroom is now enclosed with drywall.
Plumbing pipes for a cafe are roughed in.
Behind the temporary walls on the first floor, work continues on Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Cafe. On Dec. 6, plumbing was roughed in for the new cafe.
Three workers repair plaster on the ceiling in the historic portion of the building.
The plaster repair work has begun in the historic 1927 portion of the building. Here, three workers repair the ceiling on the second floor of Historic Farrell Library. (Jan. 2, 2020)
A worker repairs the plaster in the Great Room.
On Jan. 8, 2020, a worker repairs plaster near the ceiling of the Great Room. It is estimated that all the plaster repairs will take about six months to complete.
Two workers prep the ceiling for wood beams.
Also in the Great Room, workers prepped the ceiling for the return of restored wood. In our next blog post we will detail this exciting process that has been months in the making.

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.”

 

Labor Day Appreciation

This Labor Day we’re thinking of all of the workers who have made Hale Library’s recovery and renovation possible. Due to their dedication, we were able to meet our goal of opening the first floor during the first week of classes. To all the workers, thank you!

A worker in a white hard hat uses a power tool that sprays a shower of sparks
A worker welds on Hale Library’s second floor.
Two men in white hard hats connect steel beams
Workers construct the new roof over Farrell Library.
Man on all fours with green laser running length of photo
One of the workers using a laser level in front of the limestone wall where whiteboards are now mounted on Hale’s first floor.
Man to left in white hard hat writes on table, man in right of frame in white hard had kneels to install electrical outlet
Two crew members work on opposite sides of a wall on the first floor of Hale Library.
Man in white hard hat cutting through wall with power tool
A worker on the first floor of Hale tearing down the wall to create the new entrance.
A man in a white hard hat scrapes putty along a wall
One of the drywalling crew works with the help of spotlights on Hale’s first floor.
A man in an orange hard hat using a sledgehammer to open up the wall
A worker taking down the sheetrock to create the new first floor entrance.
A man in a yellow hard hat writes on paper on stacks of wood
One of the workers on the first floor.
A group of people in hard hats on stilts working to put up ceiling grid
The first floor swarms with crew members from a dozen different subcontractors. They’re finishing lighting, drywall, painting, carpeting, and more.
Two men in white hats on platforms mud the ceiling
Two men mud the drywall by the sunflower entrance at Hale Library’s southeast corner. The doors at left open into the new Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons. 
A worker in a yellow hard hat moves boxes off a truck ramp into Hale's first floor
A worker moves boxes into Hale Library’s first floor.
Man walks across floor scattered with construction materials
One of the crew members makes their way across the destruction on Farrell Library’s roof.

Home Sweet Hale! First floor now open

At 8 a.m. on Wednesday, August 28, 2019, Dean Lori Goetsch opened the doors to the Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons on Hale Library’s first floor.

Oh, K-State friends. We wish you could have been there. It was a beautiful thing. After 15 long months, our people finally got to come back to their Home Sweet Hale.

It wouldn’t have been possible without the more than 2,400 individuals who contributed to Help for Hale. We have four more floors to renovate, so please, be a part of creating the rest of our next-generation library. It’s easy to make a gift through the KSU Foundation online.

If you’re on campus, come visit! We’ll be closed Saturday-Monday of Labor Day weekend, but regular hours start Tuesday.

The flow of early morning visitors was slow but steady. Within three hours, though, students swarmed the space.
HOME SWEET HALE! Welcome to the Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons.
Students hooked their laptops up to the large collaboration screens in the reservable study rooms; they curled up in soft chairs; and they put the white boards to good use.
Three women sit on a blue padded bench with a gray wall and a window behind them.
Padded benches now fill the nook in front of the windows to the 1955 stacks addition.
Three students hold up K-State's "WC" hand symbol while standing in front of a wall covered in purple balloons.
Sierra Marstall tweeted this great pic and wrote, “Can I get a HALE YEAH?! But seriously go check Hale out. It’s amazing. We are BIG fans…”
We’re calling this area the “living room” for obvious reasons. Very comfortable!
Two of the first students in the door met for breakfast and a study session. (And they posed for a million photos. Thank you, guys!) Photo courtesy of the K-State Alumni Association. 
Loads of seating options fill the space — note the tall table and chairs in the background.
Smiling man with a beard stands over two computer monitors on a table.
Casey Keller of K-State’s Information Technology Assistance Center was doing some final set up as the doors opened.
A quiet nook with an added screen for privacy.
Home Sweet Hale flags welcome students to the sunflower entrance at the southeast corner of the building.
Every one of these desks was full within hours of the doors opening.
We love the accent lighting in this space.
Tara Coleman and Darchelle Martin were just a few of the library employees in purple “Hale Staff” T-shirts who welcomed everyone who came in the building.
The reservable study rooms filled up fast!
The entire Everitt Learning Commons is filled with enormous whiteboard walls. Employees left welcome notes throughout the space, and then students quickly employed them for more academic uses.
It’s so good to see the crowds of students who stop between classes, who settle in for hours of study and who dearly missed their Home Sweet Hale.

Almost there! Installing the smarts and parts

It’s crunch time! Back in April, Hutton Construction superintendent Mike told us that toward the end of a job, it’s critical to get the “smarts and parts” in order to get them installed and meet the deadline.

“Those are the things like technology—and there’s going to be a lot of it on the first floor—or door handles and other fixtures that don’t get manufactured until the order is placed,” he said.

That’s the final step. And that’s exactly what’s going down now on Hale Library’s first floor.

The new sunflower entrance at Hale Library’s southeast corner leads directly onto the first floor Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons.
Once the video monitors and signage are installed ⁠— more “smarts and parts”! ⁠— this entryway will welcome visitors to the Everitt Learning Commons.
A crew member cuts metal trim. A few of the reservable collaboration rooms are visible at right.
Workers put finishing touches on more of the reservable collaboration  rooms.
All of the collaboration rooms have floor-to-ceiling white board walls, and most will be equipped with monitors for videoconferencing, practicing presentations and more.
Workers install an accent wall near the elevator that will lead up to the second through fourth floors. Those spaces will remain under construction this semester.
K-State Libraries graphic designer Tara Marintzer tries out some of the new furniture near the first floor stairway.
More white boards are mounted in front of the limestone exterior of the 1955 library stacks addition. Plenty of seating will be available in front of these workspaces.
Darchelle Martin, K-State Libraries public information officer, gets a shot of one of the seminar rooms. This will be designated as study space this semester, but it will be used for library instruction in the future, too.
Another large study space with tables and video monitors for collaboration. 
A panoramic shot of the south side of the Everitt Learning Commons.
Meanwhile, the rest of the building is still undergoing renovation, so some construction noise will be present during the daytime hours. Metal destined for recycling sits in a heap on third floor where demolition is underway.
On second floor, a pile of salvaged wood trim in sits in the future home of the Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies.
Construction lights illuminate a work space lined with tool chests. While the electricity has been restored to the first floor, the rest of the building is still running on construction power from an external source.
The entryway to the third floor Great Room has been widened and will serve as a beautiful welcome into the restored historic space. New, improved graduate study spaces will flank this area. 
Workers pile construction debris on the north side of the third floor and get it ready to send out the window.
Debris from demolition exits the building via this tube, so work from the upper floors won’t disrupt visitors to the Everitt Learning Commons when it opens. Soon! Very soon! 

Home Sweet Hale: First-floor study space opening soon!

We are just weeks away from opening the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons. An official open date will be announced soon, but we anticipate opening most of the first floor very early this fall.

“As is the case with large construction projects, you have to expect the unexpected,” said Lori Goetsch, dean of Libraries. “But it’s coming together beautifully, and we wanted to get the word out in advance of students returning to campus.”

The first floor Everitt Learning Commons is a bright, welcoming space that will feature plenty of options for seating and group study.
Crew members mud drywall and install limestone immediately to the right of the first floor entrance. The elevators, the cafe, and a large presentation room, which is located in the former Einstein Bros., are at the east end of the building. 
A fireplace anchors the Hale Family Cornerstone Cafe, which will open in the spring semester. Until it’s ready, it will be walled off from the rest of the first floor. 
Crew members install ceiling grid. There is still a lot of work to be done, but it’s moving very quickly. 
The first floor swarms with crew members from a dozen different subcontractors. They’re finishing lighting, drywall, painting, carpeting, and more.
Cardboard covers the new purple and dark gray carpet so it remains clean in the midst of all the construction work.
Workers install benches in front of the windows that look into the first floor stacks. This will be a cozy spot to study. 
Desks line the hallway that links the west end of the building to the large, open portion of the Everitt Learning Commons.
On the left are a few of the 14 reservable group study rooms. To the right, plywood mounts indicate where the white boards will be hung. The surrounding limestone facade of the 1955 library building addition will remain exposed. 
Crew members wheel drywall past one of the large seminar rooms.
Crew members unpack furniture. Note the electrical outlets on the ottoman: The Everitt Learning Commons will have plenty of outlets! Hooray!
And just one floor up on second, workers smooth concrete in the main entrance. New tiles go in soon. Even though the first floor will be open, Hale Library will be a construction zone for several more semesters, so some noise is to be expected during the day.

Stay tuned! We’re hoping to announce our opening date next week.

New developments in the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons

Hale Library’s first floor looks less like a skating rink and more like the beautiful home of the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons these days. Don’t miss the latest photos of the workers and spaces! We see in these images a promise of Hale Library’s bright future.

Doors will open to the first floor early in the fall semester, and the second floor will open spring 2020. The entire building will be complete by the end of 2020!

A worker lit by the glow of a laser line level measures the area where a row of white boards will be mounted. The limestone facade, which is the exterior wall of the 1950s addition, will still be visible around the margin of the white boards. July 16, 2019. 
A worker on stilts muds the drywall ceiling in front of the future Everitt Learning Commons white board wall. July 23, 2019.
The former 24-hour study space will serve as a presentation and meeting room eventually. This fall it will be filled with tables and chairs, though, in order to meet the demand for more centrally located study spaces on campus. July 16, 2019.  
This large stretch of space will soon feature reserveable study rooms. The Hale Family Cornerstone Cafe will be located immediately next to this space. We can’t wait to see the menu when they open this spring! July 16, 2019. 
A crew member installs ceiling grid in the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons. July 16, 2019.
Two men mud the drywall by the sunflower entrance at Hale Library’s southeast corner. The doors at left will open this fall into the new Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons. July 23, 2019.
A crew member installs flooring: Goodbye concrete shell, hello gorgeous carpet in lovely saturated tones of gray and purple! July 23, 2019.
Meanwhile, up one level, demolition continues in order to make way for a fresh new second floor, opening spring 2020! July 16, 2019.
The space by Hale Library’s main second floor gates await new flooring, new entryway framing and much more. Opening spring 2020! July 16, 2019.

Thank you to University Photo Service’s Tom Theis, who took most of these amazing photos!

Butler Family Community Foundation supports K-State Libraries

Many K-Staters have committed private funds to facilitate the student-focused upgrades that will make Hale Library a next-generation library. We are grateful that the Butler Family and their Butler Family Community Foundation of Manhattan, Kansas, is among those generous donors.

The Butler Family Community Foundation gift will support the creation of a new digitization lab equipped with cutting-edge technology. Librarians will use the space to scan unique and rare primary source materials from the Richard L. D. and Marjorie J. Morse Department of Special Collections, which is located on Hale Library’s fifth floor. Thanks to this digitization lab, K-State Libraries will be able to preserve historic photos, documents, correspondence and more for future generations.

The lab will digitize historical photos like this one of Angel Flight participants at K-State, 1959. Angel Flight was a unit of the Air Force ROTC for female students. Courtesy Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

This process is increasingly important and a key part of preservation work in large libraries.

“We are thrilled at the prospect of extending the reach of the Libraries’ special collections to the world,” explained Brenda Butler, executive director of the Butler Family Community Foundation.

“As the digital archives become available, anyone can access a wealth of knowledge in cookery, Kansas history and so much more. This initiative finds a new way to place Kansas State and its knowledge base on a global stage. This is exactly the sort of project, with benefits to so many diverse groups of students, scholars and researchers that the Butler Family Community Foundation and our commitment to education, creativity and community is proud to support.”

A century of K-State newspaper and yearbook content is available online thanks to previous digitization projects completed by outside contractors. Thanks to the Butler Family Community Foundation’s gift, the Libraries will be able to accomplish more digitization projects in-house. (Kansas State Collegian, Nov. 4, 1957; 1912 Royal Purple).

As K-State Libraries’ Associate Dean Sheila Yeh noted recently, “The state-of-the-art digitization lab will be unique to K-State, our community, and the Libraries. It is often not possible nor economical to transport those collections to and from an out-sourced digitization facility. … This is an example of a sustainable service model with a far-reaching impact.”

Thank you to the Butler Family Community Foundation and the many alumni and friends who have been inspired by K-State’s vision for a next-generation library.

The 1910 women’s basketball team: Reva Cree, Maude Estes, Christine Heim, Emma Lee, Hope Olive Palmer, Esther Sieder and Edna Willis. Courtesy Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

There is still work to do. You can help.

Give online to support the restoration of Hale Library. It’s never been easier.

Students in the balcony and rafters of Nichols Gymnasium demand a new field house, 1941. Courtesy Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

 

Construction progress and a familiar face

Things were heating up in Hale Library last week — quite literally, since the new HVAC system isn’t up and running yet. Testing was in progress, and they were about to turn things on!

The warmer days of summer haven’t stopped construction one bit, though. We recently walked through and saw spaces that reminded us how far we’ve come. We also snapped photos of a few of the more than 120 workers who are making it all happen. (Thank you for being such good sports!)

A large curved room on the south side of the first floor after the carpet was stripped out, June 11, 2018.
The same room as shown above, now with new drywall. June 13, 2019. 
A crew member generously lets us take his photo as he tiles a first floor restroom. There are two restroom locations in the renovated space, plus a lactation room. June 21, 2019. 

In the video above, Brenna Leahy, communications student employee, and Mike Haddock, associate dean, look around the first floor under construction. The sunflower entrance at Hale Library’s southeast corner is behind Brenna and Mike. As the video pans to the left, you see the entrance to a large space for meetings and presentations, and then the sites of the new cafe, the entry arch to the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons and spaces between the pillars where glass-walled reservable group study rooms will be situated.

Another look back: Second floor Information Technology Assistance Center offices filled with dehumidifiers, May 31, 2018.
The same space as the photo above, June 17, 2019. In the new Hale Library, this will be a public reading room that features the juvenile literature collection. The tables at left are among the pieces of furniture that were salvaged. They will be reused in the renovated building.
The view from inside the future home of the Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies on Hale Library’s second floor, June 21, 2019. Previously the Dow Center was located on the fourth floor and this was IT office space.
Here’s another “then and now” photo … of a person this time! Aaron Cline, one of the workers from American Fire Sprinkler, spent nearly two years replacing pipes in Hale Library. In 2016, we featured them on our Instagram account, @kstatelibraries: “We ran the new feed that feeds all the standpipes. So it’s a six-inch pipe that we’re dragging through this tunnel. You can barely sit up, much less stand, and it took us a couple weeks.” 
And here’s Aaron back on the job in Hale Library three years later! We’re grateful for the work he did back in the day. There are worse places to be stuck for a big chunk of your working life, right?
A view of Holton Hall from the entrance to Hale Library’s main floor. The reddish-colored tiles in this space were recently removed. Note the nails in the foreground that were spray painted orange so no one steps on them. June 21, 2019. 
Hardhats hang outside the construction entrance near Mid-Campus Drive.

We’ll be back with another building update later in July. Carpet installation is happening on first floor soon!

Clean, fresh spaces taking shape

It’s a new era in Hale Library. When Associate Dean Mike Haddock goes into the building to document construction these days, he’s coming out with more and more photos of clean, white drywalled spaces and fewer and fewer of rubble and demolition.

The Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons on first floor is taking shape. Things are progressing on schedule, so we aim to open the doors by the first day of fall semester 2019!

Looking toward the south windows on first floor, June 10. The area in front of the windows will be furnished with groupings of soft seating for  relaxed group study. 
Workers on an aerial lift in Hale Library’s first floor space, June 3, 2019.

The photos below were taken from the same first-floor spot at the bottom of the stairs about 18 days apart.

Looking toward the east end of the first floor and the old location of Einstein Bros., May 23. 
Looking toward the east end of the first floor and the old location of Einstein Bros., June 10. 
First floor looking southwest from stairs, June 10. This area will be filled with reservable group study rooms. 
First floor looking toward Sunflower Entrance, June 3.
Looking west on Hale Library’s first floor with the doors to the sunflower entrance at left, June 10.
First floor looking west, June 3.

Meanwhile, up on second floor, demolition continues. Ceiling tiles, drywall, pipes and ductwork have been torn out to clear the way for clean new walls like those you saw in the photos above.

Even the security gates came down.

Removing the security gates, June 3.
Rubble on the site of the old main floor Help Desk, May 23.
More demolition immediately west of the old Help Desk, May 28.
Workers use a jackhammer and a crowbar to remove the reddish-brown tile out of the loggia entrance on Hale Library’s main floor, June 4.

The renovation doesn’t just affect Hale Library’s external surfaces. Haddock recently captured this photo of wiring sitting in a rusted-out electrical box. It’s a reminder that the damage wasn’t just cosmetic: Improvements are taking place at every level, at every turn.

When Hale reopens in phases starting this fall, that means improved infrastructure, including more electrical outlets and better wi-fi.

Wiring sitting in a rusty electrical box, June 3. 

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.