A long metal beam was painted yellow and held up on two sawhorses in the Compass yesterday. It was the last piece to be placed in Cabell’s frame and students had the chance to sign it before it’s permanent installation.
After long months of construction, the main superstructure of Cabell Library’s new addition is complete. The bare concrete walls and lack of windows show there is still a lot of work to go, but yesterday was an important landmark.
“Today’s ceremony represents a promise to the future,” said Provost Gail Hackett, “and that promise includes the commitment to a top tier library as an essential component of VCU as a premier urban public university.”
According to library records, the library hosted just over 2 million visitors in 2013 and regularly hosts thousands of students overnight every month. VCU provides 5 square feet of library space per student, the smallest amount in the state. By comparison, the College of William and Mary provides over 40 square feet of study space per student.
“We need this building because our students need the space,” said librarian John Ulmschneider. “We have the least amount of square feet per student of any institution in Virginia and we have the heaviest used building in Virginia. Our students sometimes just can’t find a place to sit and study.”
In order to fund the renovation, the university administration used state funding and donor support so the upgrade comes at no cost to students. The building is projected to be completed in December 2015.