This summer we will start work on a £6m library refurbishment project for the Cameron Smail Library (Edinburgh campus). This is something that we are all really excited about, as the refurbishment will transform the library into a modern, flexible and comfortable environment for everyone that uses it. Staff, students and consultants have worked together to agree on the design for the space, and this huge investment by the university demonstrates our commitment to working with you to improve your experience at Heriot-Watt University.
The Learning Commons (which we think of as the Library’s fifth floor) opened in September 2016. This was our test bed for the design of our learning spaces allowing us to try out new layouts and facilities. It provided 200 study spaces in a variety of configurations, and we’ll be applying lessons learned from this to inform the type and style of spaces created in the refurbished library building.
The project will run for 2 years, and will result in more study spaces (up to over 1000 from the current 825), an improved working environment with a variety of collaborative study spaces, double the number of accessible study rooms and improved layout of library stock. There will also be more desk space, more space between work areas, more PC workstations and many other improvements to the building itself to help future proof it.
The problem is that we’re not going to manage to do all this without you noticing something is going on! The library will remain open throughout the project, but there will be times when there is restricted access to areas, noise and some disruption. We will try to keep this to a minimum, and plan the more intrusive work for times when the library is quieter.
The Learning Commons, the refurbished study space in the Post Graduate Centre (due September 2017) providing nearly 100 study spaces for all students (not just PGs) and several other study spaces will be available across campus – see Study Spaces.
We’ll keep you informed about what’s due to happen when and let you know how things are going as the project progresses. More information about the refurbishment will be released over the coming weeks – but we thought we’d give you a “sneak preview” so you know what’s coming soon!
This month some pre-project survey work will take place – see Building Survey Works – Cameron Smail Library for full details.