University vice-provost of digital strategy and university librarian Guylaine Beaudry said plan is to open fourth floor on Sept. 12
Concordia’s Webster Library is entering its fourth phase of renovations with the final upgrades to be made in the coming weeks, according to the university’s vice-provost of digital strategy and university librarian, Guylaine Beaudry.
Beaudry, who has been a member of the team managing the renovations since the project began in January 2015, said the plan is to reopen the fourth floor and the other half of the third floor by Sept. 12.
Once the floors are open to the public, there will be only minor adjustments left to complete, Beaudry said. The only area left to be renovated is the visualization room, which is a new addition to the third floor, she said. This studio will have one wall covered with projection screens for student projects.
“That [final] piece will be delivered by the end of December,” Beaudry said. “It will put an end to our project.”
Students can also create simulations for class projects with the help of staff, Beaudry said. Construction workers are currently adding a window to the room so that passersby can see the studio in use, she said.
According to Beaudry, the university invested $36 million for the renovations. “So far, we are on-budget, even a bit below,” she said. “We are actually delivering before the date that was initially planned [which was December 2017]. Everything tells us that we will be able to deliver 98 per cent of it [on Sept. 12] if you put aside the visualization studio.”
The library’s new configuration has 3,300 seats, which is an addition of 1,800 seats. Among the new features on the fourth floor are four presentation practice rooms equipped with recording materials for presentation playbacks. “It’s a one-button system,” Beaudry explained. “You put in your USB key, press a button and you start recording. Your recordings will be saved on your USB key, [and the room] includes video and sound recording.”
“We will also be improving our digital signage,” Beaudry said, referring to screens placed around the library displaying maps to guide students. These maps will also be accessible through the new Concordia app, Beaudry explained.
With the construction coming to an end, Beaudry said the library’s team will now be working to push their spill-proof mug campaign and emphasize the use of designated food areas. More study hall monitors will be hired to enforce these regulations, and banners will be hung throughout the building to remind students. “We are also working to better understand the needs of our students to give them the services that they need,” Beaudry said.
Photo by Alex Hutchins