Library Gazette

ZSR on December 23: Not a Creature is Stirring?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 3:05 pm

Twas the day before holiday break
and throughout ZSR,
barely a creature was stirring,
not near and not far!

Empty Atrium on Dec. 23

But if you are curious
and know where to look
you’ll find some activity
in a cranny or nook.

Wilson Wing Attic HVAC Project

The Wilson Wing attic
is full of metal and men
constructing new air ducts
to keep temperatures even.

New Tile for the Stairwells

Take the stairs to the next spot
And you surely will smile
to find the Wilson Wing staircase
Getting a new set of tiles.

New Compact Shelving Wilson 1

Way below in the basement
compact shelving’s being built
to store books that free space
elsewhere for people sans guilt.


Last but not least
You won’t want to ignore
a side trip through slumbering Starbucks
to see the new east entrance door.

New East Entrance Door

Happy Holidays and check back in January to see how all these projects turn out!

What’s The Deafening Noise All About at ZSR???

Thursday, June 12, 2014 12:02 pm

Anyone who has tried to work or study in the ZSR the past several days can be commended for possessing great stamina! The noise has been deafening and the activity of all the construction workers has been evident in multiple locations throughout the building. Have you wondered what it’s all about?

By now, our regulars might know that summertime is our window of opportunity for any construction projects to take place. Can you imagine if the drilling noise had been the background music during the academic year?

This summer, we have two separate building projects underway.

The first is the ongoing upgrade of the library’s HVAC system. Next to lack of outlets, the temperature of the library is the biggest complaint we receive. Some areas are always too hot, some are always cold. If we adjust the temperature in one area, it often negatively affects other areas in the library. Since the Reynolds Wing still has its original 1956 system, upgrading it means tackling a portion each year. This summer, work is being done on the 8th floor of Reynolds, to finish up what was started last summer. A second HVAC project is taking place on all four levels of the Wilson Wing. Even though this is the “new” part of the library, it is over 20 years old, and there is newer technology that will improve the HVAC system. To that end, VAV (Variable Air Volume) boxes are being installed in 62 locations above the drop ceilings. You may notice missing ceiling tiles. Look up and you’ll see the new boxes. Once installed, they then need to be connected into the system and tested. This is the first step that will prepare the Wilson Wing to be ready for upgraded air handlers in the next phase of the project (Maybe over semester break?)

New ducts on the 8th Floor

New ducts on the 8th Floor

The second project is the renovation of two separate areas in the Reynolds Wing. Both of these renovations are in areas that are used by the ZSR faculty and staff. Neither of the spaces has been updated in decades, if at all! On the 8th floor, the suite of offices that houses our Technology Team is being updated to create a space that is conducive to the high tech work they perform. The picture above shows the part of their office that will be converted to a conference room where they can do collaborative development work (the window you see overlooks the atrium!). The second renovation is on the 3rd floor of the Reynolds Wing. The existing staff lounge has been gutted and new bathrooms, kitchen and dining areas will be created. Much of the drilling noise that is disrupting our peace and quiet is due to workers removing brick walls to create new entries and expand the space. The pictures below show what it looks like “behind the scenes” right now!



Staff Lounge Gutted and Braced

Staff Lounge Gutted and Braced

New Opening to Hallway

New Opening to Hallway

Brick walls will be removed

Brick walls will be removed

If all goes according to plan, the work for both projects should be completed by the end of July. We want to thank you for bearing with us as we make these much needed improvements to our building!

New Atrium Flooring Coming Your Way @ ZSR!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 8:30 am

It’s almost time for the next phase of the ZSR Library Atrium renovation. You’ve seen the new windows in the Atrium. Next up is new flooring that will be installed during the semester break! If you follow ZSR activities, you may have read about this project in an early September post. On the day following the last exams (Sunday, December 15), the project will begin with a planned completion date of January 10, right before students return for spring semester. In addition to new flooring, the number of electrical outlets in the atrium floor will be increased to 80!

The floor plan below shows the areas of the main level (Level 2) that will be impacted by the project. All of the existing carpet and tile will be removed. The darker color shows the areas where resilient flooring will be installed. In the atrium cork flooring will be installed, a choice made because of the numerous benefits:

  • Cork’s cellular structure makes it soft to walk on.
  • Cork has insulating properties and remains warm in winter.
  • Carpet accumulates dust, hair and dander which is hard for those with allergies. Cork is naturally hypoallergenic.
  • Cork is easy to maintain and longer lasting than carpet.
  • Cork absorbs sound.
  • Cork is soft, yet is naturally resilient to furniture dents and heel imprints.

For our users who will still be on campus and will be visiting ZSR Library during the break, here is information on what you can expect during the construction.

  • The Library will be open the hours posted on the calendar.
  • Signs will be posted to direct users around the construction so that they can get to the Wilson Wing and other public service areas in both wings.
  • General schedule for Construction activities:
    • December 16-20: Demolition of old flooring, trenching concrete for additional electrical outlets, and floor preparation. We expect noise and dust levels to be increased during this part of the project.
    • December 21 through January 1: ZSR Library closed.
    • January 2-3: Cork flooring installation.
    • January 4-5:ZSR Library closed.
    • January 6-9: Cork floor seal cures, no traffic on floors.
    • January 10: Furniture is moved back into the atrium.

Construction/Renovation Update

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 4:59 pm

If you have visited ZSR Library over the past few months, you must have noticed some construction activity going on. This report will provide an update on the three major projects that have been taking place recently:

  • New Atrium Windows
  • New and Replacement HVAC units for Special Collections and the 8th floor
  • Preview and Testing of new cork floor for the Atrium

New Atrium Windows

Usually, we try to schedule improvement projects so that they take place during the times when there are the least amount of students in the building, when they will cause the least amount of disruption. This season, the scope of the atrium window replacement project was big enough that the project has stretched into September.

The Atrium is one of Wake’s most iconic campus locations. Every campus tour for prospective students ends in the Atrium and the 7 story windows at each end of the space frame the space in an inspiring way. However, the original windows were installed over 20 years ago and were in sad shape. Most panels boasted broken seals causing condensation and reduced energy efficiency. The new window frames have the added benefit of being aluminum (meaning less upkeep in the future, think rotting wood) and the glass will include UV protection.

The west side of the installation is complete and you’ll find scaffolding on the east side now, as Frank L Blum and Pfaffs remove the old windows and install the new ones. We have posted signs in the atrium directing students to other areas for quiet space.

The planned completion date is September 30. We hope everyone will agree that the end result is well worth the means!

Replacing Atrium Windows

Construction workers replacing windows on the west side of the Atrium

HVAC Upgrade Project

For years, there has been a persistent leak from the west side 8th floor HVAC unit that serviced our Special Collections Reading Room. This resulted in a constant threat to the rare collections housed in that room, along with causing damage to the ceiling and floors. At long last, this summer Facilities removed the ancient system and replaced it with a new 21st century unit. In addition, an extra system was installed to handle the HVAC needs for the majority of the 8th floor stack area (Previously they had shared the one unit). To accommodate the extra unit, we sacrificed several book ranges so that a new HVAC room could be built to hold the new unit. Hopefully, once the final touches and tweaks happen, the west-side 6th floor Special Collection areas will be climate controlled (temperature and humidity) and will be dry!

Crew Brings the Units Down Safely

HVAC workers receive the new unit that was delivered to the 8th floor roof via crane

Coming Soon: New Cork Floor for the Entire Atrium

The Atrium flooring (tile and carpet) also date back 20 years to the original installation when the Wilson Wing was built. You don’t have to guess the era just from seeing the blue and orange color scheme…..The carpet and tile are well worn from constant high use of the most popular area in ZSR Library. When deciding what type of flooring to use to replace the old, we traveled to many other libraries to get ideas. Flooring options have really expanded over the last few decades and we have tentatively selected to install cork flooring. It should offer noise reduction in addition to how beautiful it looks. We do want to be certain that it will stand up to normal public wear and tear, so the flooring vendor provided us with a mock-up installation. You will see it installed in the center of the atrium in front of the staircase to Reference. We want to see how it stands up to carts wheeling across it, students running across it during Capture the Flag events and thousands of footsteps that take place over a regular semester! The picture below shows the way we hope the floor will be installed, using a herringbone pattern. We invite your feedback over the next few months.

Worker Applying Sealant to Cork Floor Mockup

A worker installing a mock-up cork floor for us to test this semester

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Celebrates Library Renovations

Tuesday, September 30, 2008 11:19 pm

Ribbon Cutting to Officially Open Starbucks

L-R: Mike Lancaster, Director Lynn Sutton, Provost Tiefenthaler, President Hatch, Mark Williard

An official ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 30 to celebrate the Summer 2008 renovations in Z. Smith Reynolds Library, including a new Starbucks, which opened September 22.

James Alty, associate vice president for facilities and campus services, was the master of ceremonies for the Sept. 30 ceremony. The program included brief remarks by Jill Tiefenthaler, provost; Lynn Sutton, director of Z. Smith Reynolds Library; Jermyn Davis, student government president; Chuck Hoover, senior regional development manager for Starbucks; and Randy Rogan, associate dean of the Graduate School. Mark Williard, the architect for the library renovation project and Mike Lancaster, vice president & principal for Frank L. Blum Construction Company were introduced and applauded for the superb project. Refreshments were provided in Starbucks before and following the ceremony.

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