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Students have mixed feelings about construction at library

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Amy Bailey | The Daily Wildcat While the Main Library is under construction, signs are placed along the fences to help students find the entrance to the library and other buildings nearby.

The chain link fencing, noise and constant activity of construction workers in hardhats at the University of Arizona Main Library and Science-Engineering Library have become familiar sights to most students on campus. 

Besides navigating temporary walkways and finding the restrooms, the noise from the construction seems to bother some students more than others.

The library website states, “You'll hear construction noise during the week, but you can borrow noise-reducing headphones and get free earplugs at our Ask Us desk.”

RELATED: Ongoing and new additions to UA campus

Some students don’t seem to mind the noise and construction. Jacob Shepard, an agriculture and life sciences student, said he does not feel that the construction is distracting and uses the library to study.

“[The] noise issues are pretty much the same, definitely not distracting,” Shepard said.

Others say they are staying away from the library until construction is complete. Jillian Ferre, a freshman pre-nursing student, said she doesn’t come to the library unless she is going to a club meeting. Otherwise, she finds the construction noise too much to deal with.

“That’s why I don’t study here, because I’m pretty sensitive to noise,” Ferre said.

Peter Schwarz, a library information associate who works at the Ask Us desk in the Main Library, said the noise and construction doesn’t bother him. He said that it has been great working with the construction company, Sundt. He explained that they have moved most of the noisy construction work to less busy hours.

“Generally, the only complaints are where are the bathrooms now, since we have had to take some of them offline,” said Schwarz.

Michelle Halla, manager of access and information services at the library, said that construction is on track to be completed on time. She said most of the loud construction work was completed this summer. 

Construction seems to be progressing on target for the Main Library and is due to be completed in the spring 2020 semester. The Science-Engineering Library is expected to be completed in the summer of 2020, according to Halla. She also said she believes people get used to the changes caused by construction quickly, mainly from the signage that has continued to be updated.

Halla said most of the questions she hears are students asking where the quietest place in the library is located. She noted that many students are taking advantage of the free earplugs that the library makes available.

The two libraries are being combined with the Bear Down Gymnasium. These buildings, together with the yet-to-be-built Student Success building, will make up the Student Success District.  At this time, the technology lending has moved to the Science-Engineering Library, as stated on the website.

RELATED: Construction underway for new Student Success District

“The Student Success District will be the center point for all student services, advising, mentoring, gathering [and] activities, and will serve as a place for students to gather,” UA President Dr. Robert C. Robbins said during his unveiling of the plans for the district in November 2018, as reported by the Daily Wildcat.

The library website shows the estimated time frame for completion for the Main Library, Science-Engineering Library and Student Success Building as 2020 and the Bear Down Gym as 2021.


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