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Brainstorm renovation designs for Olin, Uris libraries

With well over 1.6 million visits a year, the Olin and Uris libraries are major parts of the Cornell experience. Soon, that experience could be a new one – even for those who have walked through their doors hundreds of times.

Cornell University Library has scheduled a pair of design research workshops – one for students, one for faculty – to brainstorm ideas for future renovations of both libraries.

The student workshop is scheduled for March 26, 5-6 p.m. in Room 106 of Olin Library; pizza and cookies will be served. The faculty workshop will be held March 27, noon to 1 p.m. in Olin 106; a light lunch will be served.

Cornell University Library has scheduled a pair of design research workshops, March 26 and 27, to brainstorm ideas for future renovations of both Olin, left, and Uris libraries, right.

Cornell and planning firm brightspot strategy llc recently signed a contract to collaborate on the Olin and Uris Libraries Renovation Feasibility and Program Study. The study will develop a vision for spaces in Olin and Uris; the goal is to produce high-level conceptual design options for both libraries by the end of 2019.

Olin Library was built in 1961, the same year Uris Library (which opened in 1891) was renovated. The way people use the libraries has changed in 58 years, and library personnel are taking a fresh look at how the buildings support both users and library staff.

The aging buildings present pressing needs, such as: more efficient heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems; improved accessibility; and space allocation consistent with the role and operations of a 21st century library.

Several major steps will need to be taken between the completion of the feasibility and program study in December and any eventual renovation. The conceptual designs created by the study will assist in fundraising toward future building renovation projects.

Once funding is available, detailed designs will be developed with stakeholder input. No construction is likely to begin before 2022.

To learn more about the Olin and Uris Libraries Renovation Feasibility and Program Study, read the study FAQs on the library improvement project blog site.

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Gillian Smith