The Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre will remodel the basement level, a project that library staff hopes will enhance and expand silent study space for UTM students. The expansion, set to begin on May 1, is a response to collected data on student habits and feedback from students, both revealing that the library does not have enough study space.
“Student feedback about this project has been altogether positive. We know our students need and want more study space,” said Susan Senese, the associate librarian of research and information technology services. “We envision only a positive impact from this project, because it will provide additional silent, safe, and secure study space for our students.”
Student representatives voiced their concerns and supported the project at the advisory committee of the UTM library. The library’s board of trustees voted to move forward with the project. The library’s staff and board members will be working with an undisclosed architectural firm to talk about what improvements will need to be made, as well as to work out a timeline and a budget.
Some library services will be affected during the renovations due to the removal of several shelving units, notably the printed copies of academic journals. The library database has digital copies of the journals, and hard copies are still available at other campuses.
This project is being funded from the original Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre project funding, which was added to UTM’s capital projects priority for a major expansion in approximately five years. The total project will include basic repairs and an expansion of 3,000 square feet to incorporate a new study space, along with additional parking.
The design phase is underway, and construction is expected to take place over the summer months. The renovation project also could lead to improving the technology in the library and creating more reader-friendly spaces in the building, Senese said.