Temple pushed back the completion date of the new $170 million library once again. It will reach “substantial completion” by May 2019, officials said.
Students are not expected to begin using it regularly until Fall 2019, said Jerry Leva, the vice president of planning and capital projects.
In January, Leva told The Temple News that he did not see “anything barring” the library’s completion in October 2018.
However, the building design and construction methods were changed this year, causing the completion date to be delayed, Leva said.
One of the most prominent alterations was the building’s structure being switched from concrete to steel. Building a steel structure is more cost effective, less labor intensive and allows “significant” savings on the project, he added.
By changing the structural components of the library, officials had to redesign portions of the structure, causing the delay.
The steel structure is being completed and is on track to be finished by winter break.
“The project is going very well, and we’re extremely happy,” Leva said. “It’s moving rather quickly now. It’s picking up momentum as projects of that nature do.”
The new library will have sustainable components, like a green roof and more efficient heating and cooling systems, he added.
Other features of the new library are robots that transport books to students on command and more computers and collaborative spaces.
“A new library seems pointless, because all the money that we spent on it could be used for other things and could go towards students who need it,” sophomore media studies and production major Ramata Kaba said. “The construction is annoying, and it feels like it’s taking forever. I’m not excited for it because we already have computers and collaborative spaces at the TECH Center. It just seems unnecessary.”
Some students are excited for the new collaborative spaces because many struggle to book breakout rooms in the TECH Center.
“The current library is outdated, so I am excited for what the future holds and how it differs from the TECH Center,” sophomore sports and recreation management major Matthew Ochoa said.
The plan for the future of Paley Library is still being explored, Leva said. Some of the possibilities include it being repurposed for classroom space.
“The library took years of thought, and we consider highly and deeply how [construction] affects [students] physically, mentally and emotionally,” Leva said.
“It’s a great fit for the future of the students and staff, who should be proud of it,” he added. “It’s going to enhance and step up the university standards for the entire country, if not internationally.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Ramata Kaba has taken photos for The Temple News. She had no part in the reporting or editing of this article.