The wait is almost over — the fourth and fifth floors of Moffitt Library will reopen to students in early November providing a 24-hour public space for students.
The University Library spearheaded the $15 million project — funded primarily through private donations — with Turner Construction Company and architectural design firm Gensler, according to the Director of Communications for the University Library Tiffany Grandstaff.
“A key mission of the library is to rebuild our spaces to support the learning needs of today’s students,” Grandstaff said in an email. “This includes providing services that facilitate collaborative learning and access to the latest technologies.”
According to campus Real Estate Division Communications Director Christine Shaff, the University Library studied how libraries have evolved technologically and relayed how students now use libraries to Gensler in order for it to design suitable spaces that are tailored to meet student demands.
Renovations — which began last year in October and were scheduled to be completed this month — took longer than anticipated, according to Shaff.
Shaff noted that the delay was caused by additional construction to restore the outside terrace, which was approved after renovations had already started. Renovations for the outside terrace will continue into the spring, Grandstaff said, with more accessible seating, improved lighting and a pop-up cafe.
These are the building’s first renovations since it was first opened in 1970, according to Grandstaff. Of the variety of changes, Grandstaff said, the floors will showcase art made by students from the campus’s department of art practice, allow for snacks and drinks and include improved Wi-Fi and more outlets.
The fourth floor will be an open space that students can use to collaborate — whether that be for a school project or club meeting, said ASUC Academic Affairs Vice President Frances McGinley. She added that the fifth floor will be a quiet area for independent study and home to five nap pods — which were funded by the Wellness Initiative Fee of former AAVP Melissa Hsu.
Floors one, two and three, as well as the Free Speech Movement Cafe, remained opened throughout the renovations. The cafe’s store manager James Diaz said though construction was noisy over the summer, the cafe has barely been affected by the ongoing renovation.
Diaz said he did notice, however, that fewer students were coming into the library since construction began. Campus sophomore Chelsea Burroughs said she rarely studied at Moffitt Library since it’s been under construction and has opted for off-campus study locations such as coffee shops and Haviland Commons.
“But it’s starting to look better,” Burroughs said. “Once the construction is done it’s going to be a place I would study at.”
Construction for the first, second and third floors are in its early stages, according to McGinley, who noted that an advisory board is gathering input from students to further determine what renovations to make next.