Vandy library set for $6 million upgrade

First major renovation for Central Library in 41 years

Vanderbilt University announced a planned $6 million renovation to the campus' Central Library Friday.

The renovation by Orion Building will upgrade almost 19,000 square feet of existing space. It will add small group study areas, computer workstations and a new, central help desk. The school will also add a café and new breezeway and exhibit space between the L. Fort Flowers Wing and the Divinity Library.

"Scholarship has changed dramatically in the 70 years since construction of the Central Library," Richard McCarty, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said. "The Information Revolution completely transformed the way faculty members teach, the way students learn and the way faculty and students conduct research."

McCarty said the Central Library looks essentially as it did when it was built seven decades ago. Its last major renovation came with the addition of the Flowers wing in 1969.

Construction will begin as the spring semester winds down in May following construction currently underway on the library's eighth floor that is designed to provide group studies, more private study areas, a conference room and social spaces. The project will add 2,300 square feet of new open space with natural light for student study. Work will then begin on the second and fourth floors. Construction on the lobby, reference room, computer commons and second floor breezeway will be completed in time for the fall semester. By the end of the calendar year, work on the café and community room will be done.

The library upgrades continue an ongoing construction boom at Vanderbilt, which includes dorm upgrades, building at the medical center and improvements to a number of administration buildings.