Moffitt Library begins seismic renovation, to reopen next fall

photo of moffitt library
Gavin Sagatsume/Staff
While Moffitt Library's seismic retrofitting will conclude in fall 2022, additional construction on the library's first, second and third floors will complete the building's transition to becoming the Center for Connected Learning, intended to be a collaborative study space for students.

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Moffitt Library’s seismic retrofitting has begun with plans to reopen in fall 2022.

The seismic renovation focuses on reinforcing columns throughout the building, according to Elizabeth Dupuis, senior associate university librarian and director of Doe, Moffitt and subject specialty libraries. So far, seismic retrofitting work has begun on the upper floor and most of the preparation work for the fourth and fifth floors has been completed.

Most buildings built before 1980, including Moffitt Library, which was built in 1970, required seismic retrofitting and have since been retrofitted. Moffitt Library has been closed since Dec. 17, 2021, for seismic renovation. 

“Moffitt is beloved by many on campus, and we recognize the inconvenience caused by its temporary closure,”  Dupuis said in an email. “Moffitt Library will be a safer building for Library staff and Library users in the case of a future earthquake.”

Although the library’s closure limits the number of study spaces available on campus, Dupuis said in the email that prioritizing the library for renovation demonstrates a commitment to student and staff safety.

Moffitt Library will be closed through the summer and will reopen at the start of the fall semester, Dupuis said in the email.  She added that the Free Speech Movement Cafe will remain open through the spring semester, but will be closed “several weeks” after the semester ends due to renovations of the cafe and kitchen.

Dupuis also noted that the seismic retrofitting is distinct from the future renovations of the lower three floors, which will complete the library’s transformation into the Center for Connected Learning.

The vision of the Center for Connected Learning at Moffitt Library aims to transform the library into an undergraduate hub with innovative and collaborative spaces, where students can study and flesh out ideas, according to the campus website. The fourth and fifth floor transformations were completed in 2016, while the lower three floors are in progress.

“The seismic work will bring welcome upgrades to Moffitt Library, contributing to the safety — and perhaps the peace of mind — of everyone who enters its doors, whether staff or student,” Dupuis said in the email.

Grace Nelligan also contributed to this article.

Contact Grace Nelligan and Winnie Lau at [email protected].

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the majority of campus buildings built before 1980 are not seismically retrofitted. In fact, the majority of campus buildings, regardless of whether or not they were built before 1980, have been seismic retrofitted, including Moffitt Library.