CCL renovations to change space

This year’s seniors won’t get to study in a newly renovated Cross Campus Library, but at least they’ll get to see a newly reopened Cross Campus before leaving Yale.

Cross Campus Library is expected to reopen on schedule just before the beginning of the next academic year, but the quad itself will reopen days before Commencement, University officials said this week. CCL is in the midst of a 15-month makeover, and administrators said the new facility will be a significant improvement — both aesthetically and in terms of technology and educational opportunities available — upon the library’s previous incarnation. Dining officials said the Yale Sustainable Food Project cafe inside the library will offer all-day food service, but have not yet determined if students will be able to pay with meal transfers.

Despite the equipment that still clutters Cross Campus, the University expects to reopen the quad before Commencement.
Esther Quintana
Despite the equipment that still clutters Cross Campus, the University expects to reopen the quad before Commencement.

While occupying the same footprint, the new CCL will be completely revamped and will boast a wide array of custom and designer-made furniture, textures and architectural accents, said Danuta Nitecki, associate University librarian.

“There will be a number of pieces of furniture by renowned 20th-century designers, including the Eames lounge chair, some high-back wing chairs, and ones provided by designers such as Kaare Klint and others from the Knoll and Herman Miller shops,” she said. “Another fine example will be the Krefeld settee, chair and ottoman — part of the series designed in conjunction with the NY Museum of Modern Art based on original drawings from the Mies van der Rohe Archive. Many will be upholstered in an array of colored leathers.”

But one item will be a little more home-grown — the architects working on the renovation created their own wooden chair to accompany oak reading tables, Nitecki said.

The walls will also differ greatly from those of the original CCL, with custom-made textiles hanging along brick walls, tile friezes decorating the library’s entrance and a lead-framed glazed-glass partition separating the cafe and study lounge from the rest of the library.

Nitecki also said the roof will be improved and should hopefully no longer spring leaks.

The new CCL will be functionally improved as well, she said. Two electronic classrooms have been added, with the Registrar able to schedule regular classes in them. Besides 44 individual study rooms, there will be 14 group study spaces. Internet access will also now be available throughout the library, Nitecki said.

A new concept for the University — a YSFP cafe — will be yet another addition to the renovated space. The cafe will serve both snacks and more substantial items such as salads and sandwiches, said Don McQuarrie, executive director of Dining Services. Offerings could range from brioche and pound cake to sandwiches like roast beef with aioli — and chocolate too, in brownies or desserts, YSFP Director Melina Shannon-DiPietro said.

McQuarrie said it has not yet been determined if the cafe will allow students to pay with meals transferred from regular meal plans, though Flex dollars and Campus Cash will definitely be accepted.

Construction on the roof should be completed within a few weeks, Nitecki said, and the Cross Campus green and surrounding areas — including the Women’s Table — should be reopened days before Commencement.

Students had mixed views on the renovation. Scott Crall ’08 said he only studied in the older CCL occasionally due to its harsh lighting and uncomfortable seating. He said he will probably try out the new version, but could easily imagine it not being to his liking.

“There are so many places to study on or off-campus that, even if it is spectacular, it might be very crowded and other places might be more attractive to me,” Crall said.

Andrew Rivera ’09, who lives in Morse, said the problem with the old CCL was having to walk to it — not its interior — but said he too plans to check out the newly renovated library.

Edward Lee Miller ’07 said although he used to study regularly in the library’s old version, he was not sad to see it go.

“I was kind of glad they were getting rid of the retro ’70s look they had going on and Machine City,” he said.

Shannon-DiPietro said YSFP is looking for student baristas for the cafe.

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