K-State is no stranger to new beginnings in the face of extraordinary circumstances. On May 22, 2018, an accidental fire started on the roof of Hale Library, causing substantial smoke and water damage to the 550,000-square-foot facility and ultimately its closure to allow for extensive recovery and restoration efforts. In the months following the fire, more than 1.5 million books were moved off site for preservation and protection, and several spaces were gutted and cleared of damaged carpet, furnishings, drywall and ceiling components.
For the first time since the devastation, library officials and the campus community saw a blank slate before them and the opportunity to not only restore but to rebuild. K-State Libraries worked with an architectural firm to create a multiphased restoration and renovation project that would both honor historic Hale and incorporate the latest technology and innovative spaces.
Construction is complete on the first phase of renovation, and students enrolled in fall 2019 enjoy the enhanced firstfloor space, which includes reconfigured entrances and the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons. This collaborative learning area is dedicated study space and features hundreds of seats, reservable collaboration rooms, multiple printers and a scanner.
The next phase of construction is underway, with most of the second floor scheduled to open spring 2020 and project completion slated for late 2020. Future enhancements will include:
- improved quiet spaces for students
- abundant natural light
- an innovation lab
- seminar rooms
- cafe area
- event and lecture space