The case for an extension was clear. Points made in a submission, Scholarly Spaces in 2003 included:
The project was approved for commencement in late 2005.
Key aims reflected the pressing need for more study places, collection space and improved computer access. The opportunity was taken, however, to achieve a number of other long-held goals:
Project goals also aimed to cause the minimum disruption to building users and to keep the community informed of changes which were numerous as collections moved, stairways closed, and entrances relocated. Ear plugs were made available during noisy periods and staff were proactive in helping find quieter areas.
A further objective was to complete the project within the agreed budget and specified time frame. The building was in fact completed earlier than scheduled and budget variations were kept to a minimum.
|2004||Capital funding approved for 2006|
|Dec 2005||Appointment of Graham Bell Bowman Architects|
|Oct 2006||Contract awarded to OneBuild Constructions|
|Nov 2006||Stage 1 – External demolition and construction begins. Access tunnel constructed|
Stage 2 – Link to Student labs in ITS building completed
External facade, stairwells and internal construction on Levels 1 and 2
|Oct 2007||Stage 3 – Services move to new location, demolition and rebuild of old foyer, refurbish existing interiors. External paving and finishes, demolish tunnel|
Floor space: 4,000m2
Journal subscriptions: 251
College Librarian: Jeffrey Hazell
Library staff: 16
UOW staff: 94 academic staff
The original three-story Library building was colloquially known as The Bunker. The Reader Services Department – the equivalent of today's Information and Research Services Team – was based here, whilst Acquisitions and Cataloguing remained in the Library Annex of Building 8.
Floor space: 5,700m2
Journal subscriptions: 2,552
University Librarian: Jeffrey Hazell
Library staff: 46
UOW staff: 664
Stage 2 saw the extension of all levels to the south and the addition of the first floor balcony. The entrance faced onto the Central Square, which would later become the Duckpond.
In 1981 the building was named to recognise the founding Vice-Chancellor of the University, Michael Birt.
Floor space: 10,400m2
Journal subscriptions: 3,709
University Librarian: John Shipp
Library staff: 61
UOW staff: 1,143
Floor space was doubled during Stage 3, through an extension to the western side of the building. This involved significant internal changes and reconfiguration of collections. The lead-light Australian Birds Series was installed in the new entryway, bringing light and colour to the front of the Library.
Reorienting the entrance and service points from east to north meant extensive preparation and relocation work for Library staff intent on maintaining optimal services and access during the construction period.
It will come as no surprise to learn that a good deal of building materials were needed in our construction. Overall we used: