Kreitzberg Library renovations under way

Since its completion 22 years ago, the Kreitzberg Library has served as a nucleus of learning at Norwich University, and the school has now begun major renovations to improve it by introducing new technology, places for collaborative learning and social spaces.

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During the past 25 years, the way that knowledge is collected and distributed “has changed dramatically in that time frame,” said David Magida, Norwich’s chief administrative officer. “What we will be doing is building a library that pertains to all the good parts of the way libraries have functioned historically.”

The approximate cost of the project is $6.5 million dollars “which includes all of the technology that we are bringing in” Magida said, adding that, “every nickel from this project is coming from donations.”

The library renovation is focused on a key issue on campus, which is that “we don’t have many areas where students can work collaboratively,” Magida said. “We know that professors are introducing more homework that ask students to work collaboratively,” an increasing emphasis in education trends throughout the country.

Right now, Magida said, “we don’t have the facilities to support that, but when we are done with the project we will have that.”

Introducing new technologies and new ways for students to work together collaboratively are only some of the changes in store. Kreitzberg will also feature two new e-classrooms, which Magida calls “important” features: The two e-classrooms being added will offer, in terms of technology, advancements superior to anywhere else on campus.

The changes also include enhancements for social life and student use of the library. Magida noted, “students will be able to reserve the meeting rooms and seminar rooms” in Kreitzberg. Along with these study-based rooms, the college announced last year that as part of the renovations the school wanted to create another dining and social venue to meet the way students work today. “There will be a café that will be offering food different from the Dunkin Donuts and the mill and the dining hall,” he said.

Students tracking the changes appear to like what they hear. The addition of seminar rooms and reserved rooms “will be a boost to those who need more space to complete their work,” said Lacy Stever, 20, a physical education major, from Fairlee, Vt. “Doing your work in your room all the time can get a bit uncomfortable, and these rooms will definitely be a help to many students.

“As a rook last year I would be exhausted at all times in the day,” said Luke Tancreti, 19, a sophomore communications major from Hartland, Vt. “A café will be an great addition to the library, and can benefit all, especially the rooks.

He added that, ” “Coffee and a much more social environment will keep everyone awake during there long days.”

While making the downstairs part of the library more social, other parts will providea “more quiet and sedate environment,” Magida said. “Students who prefer to study quietly and individually can take advantage of those locations.”

Planning for the project took close to a year and a half, said Magida. “It was important to get input from students as well as architects and engineers and importantly from the faculty (and) committee on technology.” The committee “had a lot of time to review and to give input for the two e- classrooms.”

The completion date is set for early August just before the start of next school year, Magida said.

The ultimate goal is “to meet the needs of all different types of learners,” he said.

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