Changes to come

Preparation for the library renovation project begins


Photo courtesy of @MWestLibrary on Twitter

On May 5, demolition began in the newly emptied library, the construction company is working towards finishing everything up by late July.

Dana Summers, Staff Reporter

While returning to school in the fall is full of uncertainties, one thing that both students and staff can look forward to is seeing the library after its renovation in the summer.

The space will be getting a fresh look with new carpet, paint, tables, chairs, bookshelves, displays and window treatments. The library will also undergo construction to add a designated classroom area and two more glass-walled rooms similar to the ones in there currently.

“The renovation was mentioned last year as a possibility, but the actual planning that I was involved with didn’t happen until this past winter,” librarian Mindy Jorgensen said. “The district brought in a firm that brought design ideas to us. There were numerous meetings with the designer, a district-level project manager, Dr. Tiemann, the library department head and myself to discuss our wants and needs and to go over the design ideas.”

Although many of the big decisions were made at these meetings, there was an opportunity for others to have some say in the matter. Before school got out, students and staff were able to sample and vote on which new chairs they found were most comfortable.

“I truly believe that the new chairs are much more comfortable than what the library had before,” senior Logan Berggren said. “The old chairs didn’t allow many people at a table because of how bulky they were. The new ones will be easier to move, and hopefully, that will make group collaborations much easier.”

In preparation for the remodeling, the library staff spent a total of eight days cleaning out the area. They moved furniture to the hallway and boxed up everything else in sight, including 580 shelves of books.

Photo courtesy of @MWestLibrary on Twitter
Boxes line the hallways as everything in the library is packed up. In preparation for the summer renovation, the library staff spent days cleaning out everything they could. “It took about eight days for the three of us to pack up the library,” library paraprofessional Rainbow Dark said. “Six of the days were to box up books, and then two days for other miscellaneous areas like the circulation desks and computer stations.”

“The library looks enormous,” library paraprofessional Rainbow Dark said. “It’s in a constant state of change right now and looks a little different every time I go in. It feels amazing to see it moving along so quickly and a little bit overwhelming to imagine the updates and the work being put into it.”

Once the cleaning process was complete, the library staff worked on other tasks, such as getting rid of underused books. Additionally, they offered much of their old furniture to other staff members for use in their rooms.

The empty library was then turned over to the construction company on May 4, and demolition began the following day. As this project takes off, the library staff reflect on why they feel that this renovation is important.

“Overall, I see the library remodel as a win-win for Millard West that will encourage collaboration,” library paraprofessional Melissa Collins said. “Our goal in the library is to have a warm, helpful and inviting space for students and staff. We love books and reading, so any space that can make reading more appealing to students gets us excited.”

Although an exact end date cannot be given, the construction company is working towards finishing everything up by late July. With that timing, the library can be organized and ready for the beginning of the school year.