New plan to make Library more accessible

Photo by Will Huang
Photo by Will Huang

The Wilfrid Laurier University Library has been under construction since the beginning of May, with the entrance being the main renovation.

The construction of the entrance, according to university librarian Gohar Ashoughian, is the first step of a project to make renovations to the building that will make it more usable and accessible for students and professors. Most of all, she said, it is built on principles of universal design.

“The master space plan when implemented will have a lot of additional student spaces and will create a balance between collections in the study spaces,” said Ashoughian.

The Library’s intention for this first piece of the plan is to make the library entrance more accessible and open to students. Ashoughian previously told The Cord that the plan is meant to bring the library into the 21st century.

In terms of funding, Ashoughian didn’t indicate any external donations, but mentioned that Laurier provided most of the money for the project.

The library will also be adding in a “sunken garden,” which will create additional sitting areas in the front of the library. This will allow students to use the wireless connection outside during the warm months.

According to Ashoughian, Laurier has been working since December 2013 with CannonDesign to master a space plan. CannonDesign has been used by multiple universities and was also the same firm that designed the Athletic Centre in Brantford. According to Ashoughian, the plan with the firm is “a strategic planning process to identify a roadmap for the library’s further space development. When we have the master space plan ready, it will give us a road map for further development.”

Although many positive factors will be coming out of the renovation of the front entrance, summer students are finding it difficult to concentrate with the work being done.

Austin Robello, a third-year business student at Laurier, explained that the fencing of the construction zone library has made it difficult for students to find their way around.

“The construction sucks because it blocks off the whole pathway to get to the seminary parking lot. Also, I’ve had a bunch of group project meetings and you can’t use the front door, you have to go in the back way, which can get really confusing especially when trying to find the main floor,” Robello said.

Although difficult for students in the summer term, the construction is set to be completed by the end of August, which should not impact orientation week or the fall semester.

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