For the first time since it opened in 1982, the William S. Richardson School of Law library is getting a much needed face-lift, including new flooring and an interior paint job, to improve both the aesthetics and health of the building.
To ensure safety for law school and public users of the law library, the building will be closed from June 10–July 11, when the lobby area will be substantially renovated.
“We are going to try to stay open for the remainder of the renovation, including after-hours access for students and faculty,” said Associate Professor Victoria Szymczak, director of the law library.
The entire project began May 16, the day after law school graduation, and it is expected to be finished by August 16, in time for the fall semester.
A better, healthier look
The work will replace original carpeting with some tile as well as new carpeting. Renovations will include the entire main area and half of the study rooms, which will receive new paint and a new color scheme. Additionally, 12 new electrical outlets will be added, as well as some accent lighting to enhance the appearance of the library’s artwork.
Replacing the well-worn 34-year-old carpet with environmentally friendly flooring will not only improve the appearance of the library, but it will also help library users who may react to allergens or chemicals in the old carpeting.
In many areas the faded, worn and ripped original carpeting is fastened down with duct-tape.
”It’s torn and buckling and presents a walking hazard,” said Szymczak. “It had been stretched so many times it couldn’t be stretched anymore. It lasted well past its 10-year life expectancy, so I think UH got its money’s worth.”
Dean Avi Soifer explained, “The library staff people have been terrific at making the entire physical setting warm and welcoming, but it is way past time for this much-needed renovation. Law librarian Szymczak and her colleagues are meticulous planners so that—with great help from the UH people involved—the entire process is going surprisingly smoothly”
Keeping resources available
The library’s books will be packed up and stored in spaces within the library that aren’t under renovation, but access will be challenging. The library staff is already pulling some of the most widely used law texts to assist summer students.
Renovations will cost $546,800, and will be done by Hawaiʻi contractor Starcom Builders, Inc. Once renovations are complete, the UH Office of the Vice President for Administration will replace current fluorescent lighting with LED lights as part of sustainability efforts on campus.
Follow the renovations at the Law Library Blog.