Work on new library
Miller Hall to be razed for special collections
by Matt Kelly
grayed-in area is site of new special collections library,
most of which will be underground.
By Matt Kelly
new special collections
library will be worth the two-year construction disruption, said
Donald C. Riggin Jr., senior project manager at Facilities
construction schedule will be altered for exam periods and
C. Riggin Jr.
Senior project manager,
Jan. 30 at a meeting at Newcomb Hall, Riggin said Beers-Skanska
Inc. of Richmond had been awarded the contract to construct the
$26 million Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History,
Literature and Culture, which will house the Albert and Shirley
Small Special Collections Library. The contractor may start erecting
a fence around the site as early as this week, with completion
scheduled by February 2004.
Hall, formerly home of the Office
of Admissions, will be torn down in April or May, and 40,000
cubic feet of dirt will be excavated to accommodate the construction
of a 72,700-square-foot facility, 80 percent of which will be
underground. When completed, it will house the Universitys
Special Collections 300,000 rare books and 12 million manuscripts
valued at $350 million, described by University Librarian Karin
Wittenborg as state and national treasures.
underground portion will have two levels. On the lower level,
materials will be stored in compact shelving in a climate-controlled
environment, set at 33 percent humidity at 66 degrees. The basement
will be double-walled, with drainage in between, and the inner
wall will be waterproofed.
other underground floor will include reference and reading rooms,
production facilities, administrative offices, an auditorium and
a display of one of 25 existing copies of the Declaration of Independence,
donated by the Smalls.
will be two floors above ground, with an entrance hall, exhibit
gallery, gift shop, seminar and study rooms and offices for visiting
construction, a fence will block the passage between Peabody Hall
and Clemons Library, since the excavation will extend right up
to Clemons basement wall. A walkway between the fence and
Peabody Hall will link Newcomb Hall to McCormick Road. The front
of Alderman Library
will be open, with fencing extending to the sidewalk along Alderman.
The McCormick Road sidewalk will remain open.
warned about the truck traffic. Starting in mid to late June approximately
4,000 dump truck trips will be needed to haul dirt to University
property on Old Ivy Road, where it will be used to fill in a cellar
hole for future construction.
There will be a truck about every 15 minutes, said
senior construction manager Steve Ratliff, who added that the
contractor is charged with keeping the street clean.
the hole is dug, dump trucks will be replaced by concrete trucks.
Construction will operate on a 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. timetable, with
some weekend work, according to Riggin, who added that accommodations
will be made for exam periods, commencement and other University
functions. There may be some blasting, since there is a rock shelf
in one corner of the excavation, but Riggin said there would be
is noisy, dirty and a pain, Riggin said. In two years
we will say it was worth it.
construction is complete, there will be an entrance from Clemons
into the new library, partly to satisfy fire exit regulations.
Clemons also will house a generator to supply electricity to the
Special Collections area during power outages.
completed, the landscape above the collections will slope gently
from Peabody to Alderman, eliminating stairs and ramps. There
will be new brick walkways and grade level skylights to bring
natural light into the upper underground level.
trees will be taken out in the construction, according to Jeanne
M. Hammer, coordinator of capital projects for Alderman
Library: two oaks in front of Miller Hall, a large ash tree
between Miller Hall and Alderman Library, and three smaller ashes
along the library sidewalk.
officials estimated that Special Collections would be closed for
about a week during the transition to the new facility. During
construction, electricity and water will be rerouted so service
will not be interrupted. Riggin also said construction would have
no impact on Newcomb Road.
may observe the construction as it happens via a Web site.
will be a nice building when it is done, Riggin said.