U.S. Conn Library
The renovation of the U.S. Conn Library was completed in 2017. A grand opening and ribbon cutting was held during Homecoming in October 2017. The purpose of the project was to upgrade an older building that had a significant number of code issues, outdated building systems, energy inefficiencies, and asbestos concerns; enhance and positively facilitate student learning; and design a library for learning excellence. With the constant changes in technology today, the library must continue to meet the challenge of providing state-of-the art technology to support faculty and student success across campus.
The strategic priority for the college’s physical plant was the renovation of U.S. Conn Library, originally built in 1956 and expanded in 1970. The new 1,470 gross square foot main entry and elevator tower addition resolves many building problems, including the outmoded elevator, poor flow, and inadequate access for deliveries. The previous building’s exterior envelope was improved to meet the current energy code, including the addition of insulation and replacement of the existing windows. The HVAC system was replaced, which includes the removal of the asbestos-formed ductwork in the oldest part of the building. The entire electrical system, all plumbing fixtures, and water piping were replaced, and a dry pipe fire suppression system was installed throughout the entire building. A dry pipe system protects the library collections, material exhibited in the art gallery, technology, and irreplaceable archives.
The majority of the funds for the renovation came from the state, but the Wayne State Foundation filled the gap between state funding and the total cost. The Foundation reached their goal of $3.1 million.