Written by Evva Parsons
Photos by Aaron Cronin
The new library will officially open for students Block 1 of the 2017-18 academic year, having cost approximately $45 million to build. The future Tutt Library brings promises of virtual reality technology, net-zero carbon emissions, and more than double the seating of the former building. Temperate weather and efficient work by the facilities team have put the construction slightly ahead of schedule, with library staff looking to move into the building as early as June of 2017. Currently completing the exterior, the construction crew will soon enclose the structure and move to working on the interior.
Though construction is ahead of schedule, the Colorado College website shows the college has only raised 81 percent of the funding. Brian Young, the Vice President in the Office of Information Technology, explained that the discrepancy is normal in the fund-raising process. “Advancement’s doing a great job, they’ve got a number of requests that are out to donors and foundations, and so I don’t see any problem with closing that gap here,” he said. Young added that individuals have shown interest in the many spaces in the future library that have not been named yet. Alumni who provide donations could be the namesake for certain areas in the library.
During the construction period, some students have struggled to find study spaces while looking forward to the future of on-campus study options. “Every time I look at the floor plans in Worner I get so excited be-cause of how many study spaces there are,” said sophomore Frances Murray. She said this year she has had to “fight with 2,000 other people” for the quiet study spaces available.
Senior Marin Day reflected on the social aspect of the old library, describing it as “a place where people would go if they wanted to feel good about themselves, like they were doing work but weren’t actually doing work. It was really a social hub.”
The renovated Tutt not only has more space for students, but also provides a layout that will facilitate different types of learning, whether that be individual, in groups, or as a class.
Young explained the garden level will provide quiet study spaces, the first floor will house the Geographic Information System (GIS) lab, an experimental classroom, a data visualization wall, and library reception, while the upper levels will allow for group and solo study. Altogether, the new library will serve as an energetic, collaborative center on campus.
Despite some student complaints, Team Tutt’s careful planning and preparation for inconveniences during the renovation have eased the transition. Traci Freeman, Director of the Colket Learning Center and Chair of Team Tutt said that the team “wanted to make sure that students had adequate space to study and work together, that students and faculty could retrieve their books in a timely fashion and find support services, and that the year, while somewhat disruptive, would also be fun. Either our efforts paid off, and we have minimized the disruption for students, or everyone is just being very polite.” She said students have expressed disappointment that the Mod Pod will be removed and sold upon completion of the renovation.
Some departments have looked to the silver linings during construction while anticipating the benefits of the new library. Jessy Randall, curator of Special Collections at Tutt Library, said while she could do without the periodic tar and diesel fumes, she looks forward to the space for Special Collections and has hung art where some of the bookshelves in Tutt South used to be. The department also aims to have catalogued all backlogged collections before moving into the new building.