On the 60th anniversary of the American Library Association’s “National Library Week,” we are exploring the renovation project underway at Education Library.
The Education Library has been one of the better-kept secrets around campus. Known as a quiet sanctuary removed from the hectic day-to-day of the main campus libraries, the renovations are sure to establish Norman Hall as a library hot-spot for the University of Florida.
The renovation project has been long in the making, finally securing the funds in 2016 and beginning the project in the Fall of 2017, in conjunction with the Norman Hall Rehabilitation project. Since opening in 1980, the only updates to the library were the addition of study rooms a few summers ago, meaning that it has been difficult to cater to the rapid advances in technology and, ultimately, the faculty and students who are constant patrons.
The renovations will be blending the functional necessities that are crucial for a library operations while maintaining the architectural bones in-line with the aesthetic of the collegiate gothic style that defines UF’s campus.
D.E. Scorpio Corporation, the construction team behind the renovations, has a strong reputation in the greater Gainesville community. With much of their team being UF alumni, this project resonates with the company as a way they can give back their alma mater. Jennifer Denault, marketing director at D.E. Scorpio, noted that their team is focused on updating the library to provide optimal functionality while preserving the character that is intrinsic to Norman Hall.
“I can’t think of many people who haven’t come through UF and participated in lecture here or had a class here… This opportunity is so unique in that it is doing many things [renovation, historic preservation] at one time, in a central location, that will affect many people… We want to deliver the best quality project in the end.”
Although Norman Hall is set back from the activity of the main campus, it receives steady traffic. In addition to housing the entirety of the College of Education, many students from diverse academic backgrounds utilize the Education Library spaces.
Rachael Elrod, head librarian at the Education Library, exudes excitement while sharing the vision for how great the library will be for students and faculty.