Students React to Hesburgh Library Renovations

Author: John Haley


Students returning to campus from spring break were greeted by a transformation to the Hesburgh Library: as part of the newly-debuted Entrance Gallery, the first and second floor plans are now more open and filled with natural light and new furniture.

Senior John Wetzel serves as a student representative on the Hesburgh Library Steering Committee, a role he took on during his sophomore year at Notre Dame, when renovation planning first began. Wetzel described the extensive research that the committee performed in order to determine the student body’s needs and incorporate these recommendations into the renovation designs.

“The two biggest needs students expressed during the initial parts of the project were the desire for more light, more natural light in the space,” Wetzel says, “and more power.”

The desire for more power outlets was fairly easy to solve: the renovation plan included the addition of floor boxes located throughout the new space to ensure that students always have access to a power source. The desire for more lighting required a more interesting solution, one that the committee addressed through the installation of skylights and renovation of the space with floor cut-throughs.

The future for the renovation remains exciting.

“There’s going to be a new collaboration area, a new area we currently call Tech Row, which will have new computers as well as other technology-related resources,” Wetzel says. “Part of the changes that are made in the library are also reflected in the services that they’re going to offer, so the space and services will go together, and you’ll see new ways that students are able to use the library in the coming years.”

The ongoing library renovations continue to promise meaningful updates to modernize the study spaces and facilities of this Notre Dame icon, ensuring its ongoing ability to enhance the daily lives of our students.