Work has begun on a £4million state-of-the-art upgrade to Abertay University’s library.
The first phase of the refurbishment will continue throughout the summer, re-opening on August 28.
The project is a major investment in the education and welfare of students and staff, providing the very latest in interactive technology and support services.
All four levels of the library, which is also open to the general public, will be completely refurbished, along with the plant room on level 5. The current first phase will focus on the redevelopment of levels 1 and 2.
The upgrade will include a new café and extensive facilities aimed at the comfort and convenience of students and the staff who work in the building.
More than £200,000 is being spent on new furniture for the library, while the interior design scheme is contemporary and incorporates the colours in Abertay’s branding to create distinctive areas.
Much of the redevelopment will create open plan spaces but will also include a suite of acoustically isolated meeting rooms.
The start of the redevelopment comes hot on the heels of a £3.5million revamp of the university’s food and science labs, officially unveiled just last week by distinguished biologist Dame Anne Glover.
The original Bernard King Library opened in 1998 and the needs of students and staff have continued to evolve, as has the use of technology in information resources – in teaching and society more generally.
A new feature on level 2 of the Library is a ‘creative design suite’ - a multi-purpose room somewhere between a ‘maker space’ and a ‘google war room’.
Laptop lockers and charging stations will be included in the concept, while the introduction of acoustic partitions and acoustically absorptive materials will be used strategically throughout the library to cut down on intrusive sound levels.
Students and staff have been extensively consulted throughout the process via the likes of surveys, comment cards and focus groups.
The university has employed a firm of architects, ADP, who are award-winning library designers, providing both architectural and interior design services. Pick Everard is providing the remaining consultancy services while the main contractors are Kier Construction.
Abertay’s Project Director, Michael Turpie, said the redevelopment would give the university’s students among the best study facilities in the UK.
He said: “Our aim is to create a learning centre fully kitted out to utilise state-of-the-art study, collaboration and learning facilities.
“It is a public building and is open for use so we welcome people to come in and see it and use it when complete.
“Many of the existing fixtures and fittings were dated and at the end of their anticipated useful life. There were also issues related to the control of temperature, light and ventilation, which often featured in student feedback.
“There has also been an increase in demand for spaces where collaborative and peer-to-peer learning can take place, involving greater levels of conversation and social interaction – an essential part of modern learning.”