$10 Million Library Renovation Budget

Arthur Lakes Library is on CSM’s renovation list, with a $10 million dollar budget in the works. The catch: Colorado School of Mines is not fronting any of that money.

During the faculty meeting, library senator Paula Farca delivered news to the Apr. 10 meeting that a budget of $10 million dollars is estimated for complete library renovations. Talks for renovation plans include expanding the library upward with new floors, as well as improved study spaces and resources for students. One such proposal put forward by students was to increase the number of available outlets to charge laptops and other devices. Currently, two classrooms occupy the south side of the basement, with potential plans for more.

However, according to Farca, none of that money will be funded directly by the school. Its reasoning: the library’s renovation is not a priority expense. Instead, the money will have to be funded by donors and outside sources.

$1.8 million was proposed to both student governments a year ago. But the remaining amount will need outside funding, likely by the state and private donors.

This is outrageous. Libraries are essential sources of information, meeting spaces, and workplaces for campuses, and why the school itself has deemed it unworthy of renovation is astounding. The library sorely needs renovation in its layout, amenities, and staff needs: its last expansion was in 1977, and its current renovation plans only now include expanded computer labs, study spaces, and teaching spaces. Students, faculty, and library staff need a more functional space, but the institution at large does not deem the library a worthy investment for its money.

Outrage was also expressed at the faculty senate meeting, some professors worrying that  without school funding potential donors would be less likely to front their won money for renovation.

I use the library, I work at the library, I know many students who use the library. The computer labs are always crowded, the main study spaces between the concrete columns on the second floor and edging the mezzanine levels are always full of study groups and students completing homework. At all times of the day, even until 2:00 in the morning, students are working in the library or searching for information in its stacks. Its staff are incredibly friendly, hardworking, and willing to help students with any query. The library is a well-used and necessary campus building.

But not necessary enough to receive school-funded renovations.

Photo courtesy of Colorado School of Mines.

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