DePauw Announces $30m Library Renovation

DePauw Announces $30m Library Renovation

A $30 million renovation set to begin in March will transform DePauw University’s Roy O. West Library into a dynamic hub for multi-media, group collaboration, research, social interaction, advanced technology resources and individual study.

Built in 1957, “Roy O” has been a fixture in the academic life of the university for 62 years. The work is expected to be completed in August 2021.

“This project will reimagine our library as a 21st-century learning environment, with spaces, resources and technologies that better serve all of our students and faculty,” said David Berque, DePauw’s interim vice president for academic affairs and professor of computer science. “Even in this digital age, the campus library is the heart of an educational institution, but the way students use it has changed greatly.”

Dean of Libraries Rick Provine agreed. “Books still matter,” he said, “But today’s models of scholarship and pedagogy demand that libraries evolve from collections of print media to vibrant multi-media environments. Research remains a key skill that today must be taught using an array of analog and digital resources.”

New generations of students at DePauw will be struck by the beauty of the facility inside and out. In fact, they may not want to leave. Designed by RATIO architects to welcome and inspire, the 12,000 square feet of new space will include a reading room that features a two-story atrium with a fireplace, expansive views, wall-to-wall books and wood paneling. A new façade of windows on the building’s west side will overlook green space that will integrate the library into the campus and downtown Greencastle.

University libraries nationwide have seen the demand for collaborative spaces surge in response to courses that emphasize team-based projects over solitary work. At DePauw, the library design will add space for the Tenzer Technology Center; team-based learning and project work; study rooms with built-in technology; modern archival storage and services; and enhanced space for the DePauw archives. New lighting and a more efficient heating and cooling system will also be included.

The beloved Café Roy, a favorite hangout for students and alumni, will be expanded and DePauw’s unusual “treehouse” study pods will remain.

Library construction will begin in March and the building will be emptied after commencement in May. During the renovation, library services will continue in the Prevo Science Library and the Music Library. The Roy O. West book collection and the archives collections will be stored. Library staff will offer interlibrary loan services and will ensure all materials needed to support teaching and research will be available.

On the heels of a record-breaking fundraising campaign, the university is investing significantly in campus facilities that will enhance the student living-learning experience and increase DePauw’s sustainability long-term. Construction of a first-year residence hall in the South Quad is scheduled for completion in August 2020 and work on a second residence hall is about to begin, with completion expected in 2021. Two additional residence halls have been proposed as part of the first-year housing plan.

DePauw approved its first solar array earlier this year, a feature of the Campus Energy Master Plan that calls for the university to become more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable. In May, DePauw completed the Ullem Campus Farm and Center for Sustainability.

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