Library renovation nears completion|
by Donovan Jackson
Air University Public Affairs
8/30/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. - -- After more than two years of construction, the final renovations to the Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center, which supports all enlisted and officer education at Air University, are due for completion in September.
"The facility needed an upgrade, like all the other buildings on the academic circle have undergone in recent years," said Terry Hawkins, chief of reader services. "The existing structure is about 60 years old, and the last renovation occurred 30 years ago."
Improvements will include an energy efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, new lighting, code-compliant electrical and plumbing, sprinkler system, information technology infrastructure and additional shelf space for print collections.
"The work has been done in three main phases," Hawkins added. "We have remained operational since day one by moving out of rooms and spaces ahead of the contractors."
Congress appropriated funding for the renovation during the 2011 fiscal year, and the $11.6 million project began July 18, 2011.
Normal operations and use of its resources by students have been interrupted due to the library's construction.
"Due to the construction, students have had access to only a small portion of the building, sometimes creating crowded areas," said Dr. Jeffery Luzius, director of the Research Center. "It has also been quite loud at times because of the construction."
Luzius believes that once the renovations are complete, traffic in the library will increase as its new services are going to be more frequently utilized.
"Once we opened the front doors last week, traffic had picked up immediately," Luzius said. "Students will soon have a nice new place to study, access our collection and receive research assistance."
Martha McCrary, assistant director of the center, said that she is looking forward to the completion of the renovations.
"I'm looking forward to all the staff being back in the building, rather than in temporary trailers," McCrary said. "In general, a return to day-to-day normalcy is going to be great."