The replacement of cars and controls in the passenger elevators in Gorgas Library is substantially complete and the elevators are now available for our use. Effective immediately, you may use the passenger elevators and the new elevator. All elevators are currently programmed to operate with card access, only. All people who currently have access into the building will have elevator access to all floors of the building, except 7th floor and the penthouse. Seventh floor is restricted to SLIS faculty, staff, students, custodial services staff, and facilities. On August 19, the elevators will be reprogrammed to allow access to public floors for everyone who has access to the building. Access to 5th and 7th floors, and the penthouse,will remain restricted.
The substantial completion of the elevator project concludes all of the renovation and construction projects that have been ongoing since spring 2019. There are a few punch list items that need to be addressed, but all areas are ready and available for our use. The renovations included complete demolition of old restrooms and construction of ADA compliant, expanded restrooms on seven floors, construction of a nursing mothers room on first floor, and unisex restrooms on two other floors. New water fountains were installed on all floors. You may recall that we enlisted input from students, faculty, and staff to select the finishes for the restrooms in Gorgas Library. It turned out great!
There are now 3 efficient, modern elevators to serve Gorgas Library. The old staff elevator was replaced to provide access to all floors in the library with an ADA compliant car (and we heard every jackhammer and drill required to make that happen). Cars and controls for the two elevators in the main lobby have been replaced. All of the elevators are equipped with card readers and cameras, modern emergency and fire protection equipment, and updated communications capabilities. During the process of replacing elevators, the lobby areas were also improved on most floors to include new flooring, lighting and a fresh coat of paint. The Circulation area on second floor was updated with new lighting, carpet, and a new service desk. In the area that was previously 4th floor, now 5th floor, the large conference room was gutted and totally renovated to include new carpet, new lighting and new equipment. The entrance was also changed to include new wooden doors and frosting on the glass wall. New carpet and ceiling tiles were installed in the Web Technologies office spaces and the smaller conference room. These spaces also received a new coat of paint.
Gorgas 205 was expanded and re-imagined to create a larger meeting space with the capability of dividing the space into two separate zones, both equipped with high-tech video walls , improved sound system, and capabilities for video and audio recording. These improvements will enhance future presentations and events in those spaces. New furniture was purchased for the renovated spaces. Our meeting rooms are now known as the The Camellia Room and The Yellowhammer Room. These two names received the most votes in a survey seeking input for names for our two new meeting spaces. And coming soon…. wall graphics featuring pictures of Denny Chimes, the Rotunda, Gorgas Library, and students, will be installed on all floors to enhance the renovated spaces! Room signage and directories are also being finalized.
JavaCity was renovated last summer and it has a nice, fresh look which results from new flooring, lighting, paint, counter tops and service point.
The University Libraries Archive Facilities was substantially completed earlier this summer. It is an amazing building! The clean agent fire suppression system in the building is the largest in the state, and one of the largest in the southeast. The compact movable shelving system ranges in height from 24 feet tall to 15 feet tall to take advantage of varying ceiling heights created by the slanted roof. The building has insulated metal wall panels, hardened to withstand wind speeds up to 160 mph. The building also has a gas generator to accommodate a fire pump, fire alarm, and emergency lighting.
Thanks to all of you for your patience, cooperation, and team spirit throughout these projects, which have been difficult at times. We hope that you will all enjoy the newly renovated/constructed spaces, and we hope that the realization of plans for projects to improve all of our library buildings will be possible.