Plans for New Humanities Center Underway
Issue   |   Wed, 10/01/2014 - 02:13

Over the summer, the college relocated all of the books and documents on the second floor of Frost Library. This is the first on-the-ground step in the college’s Humanities Center project, which was approved by faculty in the spring of 2014. Concrete work and planning during the past few months involved collaboration among faculty, library administrators, and outside firms.

“Any time you move a large number of books within the library you have to move the whole collection. So we hired a firm that has done work with us many times over the years. They’re called National Library Relocations, and it’s a company exclusively devoted to moving print materials in libraries,” said Bryn Geffert, the librian of the college. “All of the items on level two are still in Frost Library.”

Shifting the focus of the second floor from book depository to community-oriented space, the Humanities Center will include various facilities for independent study, group work and faculty research.

Geffert stressed the Humanities Center’s accessibility to the student body.

“I don’t see any reason why we won’t keep it open until the library closes. As you well know, student study space is really at a premium and we want to make sure that students have the space they need to study,” Geffert said.

A large, open area in the center, called the Think Tank, is intended to address this issue.

“The Think Tank space is specifically designed to function well for student study space in the evenings,” said Tom Davies, director of design and construction for the project. The Think Tank will consist of a large roundtable, which will be used for both large groups and individual work.

Another feature of the center will be a seminar room fronting the main atrium.

“A fun feature for this room is that the writing surface will be frosted glass panels in the wall facing the atrium, so from the atrium people will not only see the activity in the space but will actually see the writing on the glass board,” Davies said. “The center also includes a more private faculty commons for researchers’ use and collaboration that is a shared commons off of offices, all of which have glass walls to the commons again in order to foster collaboration between those housed at the center.”

The project has received extensive faculty input, and attempts to address issues that have been raised by the campus community.

The Humanities Center is expected to open in September 2015.