Story by Mikayla Marshall, Staff writer
The Board of Regents has approved a $1.18 million budget for renovations to Harry Lee Waterfield Library and Pogue Library. The budget will be split between the two libraries, with $590,000 going to each library.
The 37-year-old Waterfield library will undergo renovations to its electrical system as well as a restroom upgrade within the next few weeks.
The electrical upgrade will install more outlets on the main floor of Waterfield and the restroom upgrade will ensure that the Americans with Disabilities Act is followed.
Ashley Ireland, dean of University Libraries, said the renovations are expected to be complete near the end of November, or at the latest, by the start of the spring semester.
The Americans with Disabilities Act was established 25 years ago, to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities, according to the United States Department of Labor.
Murray State is ensuring that all of its buildings, including Waterfield, follow this law. All men and women’s restrooms on each of the three floors will be upgraded.
“In all of the restrooms, we are losing one stall in order to make it ADA compliant,” Ireland said. “This will be helpful because this facility can see 4,500 visitors a day, so we know our restrooms get a lot of use.”
Ireland said the restrooms will be completely remodeled with new fixtures, tiles and counters.
The library is also looking to accommodate the student population’s electrical devices. The electrical system renovation will add more outlets to the main floor, specifically on the back wall.
“We saw an issue with people sitting around trying to plug in devices in student traffic areas,” Jason Youngblood, assistant director of Facilities Design and Construction, said.
The library hopes to help those students who spend hours in the facility but have to leave if there’s not an outlet near.
Tori Story, senior from Murray, who spends three to four hours a day studying in Waterfield, said the biggest problem in Waterfield is the lack of outlets for students to use.
“You can usually find a place to sit,” Story said. “But you can’t find a place to sit that’s next to an outlet.”
Jessica Payne, freshman from Hawesville, Kentucky, said she studies in the library about five hours a week.
“I like the library, but I feel like the computers are always full,” Payne said. “I’m just one of those people who prefers studying in my room and I think Waterfield could be more inviting.”
Ireland said no firm plans have been made about renovations to Pogue. Potential renovations to be made could help control the humidity within the building in order to protect the archives of Murray State from damage.
The building is more than 80 years old, therefore the main concern is preserving the building itself along with the history inside.
“With all of greatness that comes with a historic building, also comes some of the problems,” Ireland said.