Library breaks ground on new facility

On a lovely fall Friday, October 7, at 2:30 p.m., Dean of Libraries Suzanne Thorin presided over the groundbreaking ceremony for the Syracuse University Library Facility on Jamesville Avenue, adjacent to the Hawkins Building. A stand-room-only crowd of over 100 faculty, students, and staff were in attendance to celebrate the occasion.

In addition to Thorin, speakers included Syracuse University Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina, David Nutting, Chairman and CEO of VIP Structures, Inc., the firm that will construct the facility; James Watts, chair of the Humanities Council and professor of religion; Judy Mower, SU Trustee and member of the Library Advisory Board; and Melissa Welshans, president of the Graduate Student Organization.

The Board of Trustees approved the Library’s plan to construct the facility last May, with construction expected to be completed by fall 2012.

The 20,000 square foot building will house approximately 1.2 million volumes and will include a processing area and conference room. An ideal environment of constantly maintained temperature and humidity (50 degrees and 35% relative humidity) will significantly extend the life of materials in the facility. Most important, this facility will enable the library to support the long-term research needs of the faculty by providing space for collections growth.

The Library reached full capacity for housing collections several years ago and had already relocated some materials to the Hawkins Building and to the Warehouse downtown. Collections in these locations will be consolidated in the new facility.