The first floor of the Weinberg Memorial Library is getting a major upgrade. A complete remodeling of the large student space adjacent to the 24-hour entrance will take place just after the undergraduate commencement ceremony in June.
The upgraded first floor will be named the Reilly Learning Commons and will contain the most up-to-date technology.
The new space will feature a large lecture room for students to practice presentations, four group meeting areas where students can meet and attach their laptops to monitors, five group study rooms, and two open study tables that will feature six Macintosh and six PC computers with video and editing software.
According to Sheli McHugh, librarian and learning commons coordinator, the project will cost approximately $400,000 and was secured through donations.
The name for the new space is in honor of Joseph C. Reilly and his sister Kay Reilly. Joseph was a custodian at The University from 1949 to 1992 and left his estate to the library after he died. Kay also donated to the library so that the common learning space could be completed.
McHugh said the upgrade will provide the necessary resources for students doing all types of work.
“It’s important to have access to all the new technology. It’s not just the computer science kids that need the software or the communication students who make videos anymore,” McHugh said. “Almost everyone does those types of projects and we want to provide access to those services. It makes it more universal.”
Students were able to view and test sample furniture for the new space this week and were able to give feedback on a piece of paper attached to the sample. According to McHugh, the layout of the new space is almost set in place, while determining the furniture pieces still has to be decided.
McHugh said the library hopes to have the new space ready for the fall 2014 semester.
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