Although the Cross Campus lawn is mostly free of last year’s blue tarps and construction equipment, students will have to wait more than a month to enjoy the newly renovated Cross Campus Library.
The library, which has been under construction since May 2006, was scheduled to open in early September. But delays in the final stage of construction mean that the building will not be ready for use until mid-October, University officials said.
The late delivery of elevators meant for CCL and Sterling Memorial Library are causing the hold-up, project manager Rich Vollaro said.
“We still do not have the equipment on site,” Vollaro said. “The opening is around October 19. That’s when the public is going to be invited to come use [the library].”
Such delays are to be expected during a construction project as large and complicated as CCL, said Lloyd Suttle, deputy provost for undergraduate and graduate programs.
“It’s not like a situation with a residential college,” Suttle said. “If Silliman were not ready, we’d be in trouble. Instead of a 15-month project, [CCL is now] a 16-month project.”
The University cannot begin furnishing the building and stocking the Yale Sustainable Food Program cafe — processes that will take several weeks — until construction is complete, Vollaro said.
Except for the area between Berkeley College and Harkness Hall, the Cross Campus lawn and walkways are mostly open for students’ arrival on campus. The remaining fencing will remain in place until the end of the September, University officials said.
Librarians and others involved with the project said the new building will be completely transformed in both obvious and subtle ways.
Associate University Librarian Danuta Nitecki said the new CCL will have updated infrastructure, as well as new furniture and layouts to support a variety of study habits.
The upgrades include group-study areas, plasma screens for student presentations and individual study rooms that Nitecki said are a marked improvement from the “tiny little bins” of the old CCL.
“We’re hoping it will be much more attractive [and a] more modern facility to work in, both individually and in groups,” Nitecki said.
Juniors and seniors who were at Yale when CCL was open in its previous incarnation said they were disappointed by the delay, as they are looking forward to using the newly renovated space. CCL has historically been considered the “undergraduate library,” since its collection holds the books most commonly needed by Yale College students.
“I have been at Yale while CCL has been open and it’s always a nice area to go and study, especially if you want to talk and study in groups,” Dawn Whitehead ’09 said.
Alison Kadesch ’08 said she missed the convenience of finding all of the Yale’s most popular books in one library.
“It’d be nice to have it open by now,” she said. “But I’d rather have the library done well than them having to finish it hastily.”
Nitecki said University officials plan to hold a ceremony to celebrate the opening of CCL.