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The Antelope

Library renovation leads to office, department relocation 

The infrastructure will be revamped throughout the building. Photo illustration by Kolton Maturey / Antelope Staff

The Mitchell Center and Calvin T. Ryan Library renovations will begin in January 2023 as part of a two-phase process. All renovations require the whole building to be shut down until completion.

Due to the extensive work needed, the UNK Department of Communication professors’ offices and classrooms will be relocated during renovation.

“We are just trying to maintain as much familiarity as we can,” said Greg Christen, Project Manager of Facilities and Planning at UNK. “But we do know it’s going to be a change, and it’s going to be something to get used to for that time period during the phases.”

Phase one will start in January on the west side of the building, hoping to have that phase completed by August or September of 2023. Phase two will start immediately after phase one is complete, and Christen said the predicted deadline is April or May of 2024.

“Right now, our plans are showing August or September for phase one,” Christen said. “Our hope is to make some schedule improvements and make the switch in the summer so that it’s less disruptive. But at this point in time with lead times, it’s looking like it will be an August, September switch.”

The wall between the Mitchell Center and the library will be removed. The main entrance stairs, ramp and doorways will be taken out for a new, more open entrance. 

The stairway in the middle of the building will stay in the same place but it will have railings and a glass wall on one floor to create more visibility. 

They will be tearing out and replacing old carpet and tile and the new ceilings will be painted.

“We are revamping the infrastructure for the building as a whole,” Christen said. “So, as we do that work and make those adjustments to the building it will help us long term.” 

The work being done to the infrastructure includes, new HVAC system, electrical supply, security cameras, internet lines and much more.

Because of the renovations, all of the classrooms and offices will be moved until the renovation is complete. They are working to find available space that would be suitable. 

It is still unknown where they will be relocated to.

“We’re still working with what’s going to be the best scenario for the communications department and the rest of the building,” Christen said. “We have to look at it holistically, on deciding which departments have to keep all functions in the library, which ones can be split and which ones we have to move everyone.”

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SHELBY BERGLUND, Photography Editor
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