Helm Library to close for repairs over summer

Emma Collins

Helm Library will be closed over the summer for renovations starting May 16.

Daniel Peach, library facilities coordinator, said there are two separate projects scheduled for renovations during the summer break.

The first project will be the replacement of the two air handlers for the air conditioning system.

“They’re over 50 years old, and they work. I mean, they’re on right now,” Peach said. “But they’re very old. I think they don’t work up to where they should be.”

Peach said last year the drip pan in one of the air handlers had to be replaced. As a result, Helm was without air conditioning for a week.

“To avoid anything like that happening in the future, I think it’s better to replace them,” Peach said.

Peach said it will be a large process to replace the handlers because portions of the roof will need to be cut out to remove the machines from the building. Due to the replacement of the air conditioning system, Helm will be without air conditioning for the entire summer.

In addition to replacing the air handlers, exterior repairs will be made.

“Also planned is work on the Helm decorative mosaics and outside repairs around the bridgeways and windows connecting Helm and Cravens,” Connie Foster, the dean of University Libraries, said. 

Peach said the exterior masonry project is not as big of a project as the replacement of the air handlers.

“The masonry one isn’t that big of a deal,” Peach said. “I don’t think it’s going to interfere with much of anything.”

Work on the exterior began in mid-April; however, Foster said no construction will take place during exam week.

Foster said summer classes and research projects will not be negatively impacted by the renovations.

“There should be no negative impact because we will retrieve research materials that might be needed from Helm like government documents, print periodical articles and microfilm,” Foster said. 

Foster said those materials will be moved to Cravens Graduate Center and Library so students and faculty can still access them while Helm is closed.

The materials will not be moved until the May 12 and 13 before spring commencement, and the internal renovations on Helm will begin on May 16.

The construction is expected to be finished by mid-August before the start of the fall semester.

Debbie Pace, project manager at Capital Construction, said the state’s budget cuts will not affect the construction.

Java City will also be closed while the renovations take place.