U to reopen library east entrance in October

By Ryan Shelton, Asst. News Editor

After nearly a year of closure, the Marriott Library’s east entrance is set to reopen in October.

Administrators at the library are seeking a temporary occupancy permit from the state to open the entrance, which, according to Library Facilities and Service Access manager Ian Godfrey, will open Oct. 208212;the one-year anniversary of its closure.

The entrance was scheduled to open Aug. 25, but was postponed by state inspectors in late July. Godfrey said several factors led to the delay, including narrow bathroom stalls and too few exit lights on the third and fourth floors.

The temporary permit would be contingent upon the completion of an emergency exit corridor on the fourth floor, which Godfrey said should be in place by the first week in November.

For some U students, the entrance’s closure has been the cause of frustration and creative campus navigation.

Alisa Evans, a junior environmental studies student, said the library construction has resulted in campus detours.

“It’s frustrating when you have to walk all the way around to the west side just to get into the library,” she said. “I used to cut through the library to get to classes, but now everyone has to walk around the north side to get anywhere.”

The walkway and stairs south of the library will be closed until early October.

The library’s main west entrance, which has historically seen 70 percent of the building’s foot traffic, is set to close on Dec. 20 for seven months during the second and final stage of the library’s three-and-a-half year, $80 million remodel project.

Construction began in 2005, and is scheduled to end with an elaborate re-dedication ceremony in September 2009.

New library features include six new classrooms, audio and visual production labs, a climate-controlled rare book vault, a five-story glass art piece and the Eccles Grand Reading Room, among others.

“We’re working really hard to get everyone done in a timely manner,” Godfrey said. “We’ve got to follow countless safety and ADA codes. Because this is a public university’s building funded in part with public dollars, state inspectors can come in here at any time and delay our progress.”

Marriott Library Director Joyce Ogburn said the new classrooms, study areas and reference zones will continue to open this fall, and the majority of the library should be open in January.

“I think our students will really be impressed when they see what we’ve done,” she said. “We’ll have one of the most impressive and technological advanced libraries in the country.”

[email protected]

Lucas Isley

After being closed for almost one year the east side entrance of the Marriott Library is scheduled to reopen on October 20. Students entering through the east side will enjoy more light provided by the new atrium and more open spaces in the library.