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Nearly a dozen Cal Poly campus development projects underway, including major library renovations

The university library is expected to be closed until "late 2025"
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Posted at 4:54 PM, Jul 05, 2023

Cal Poly has begun nearly a dozen campus development projects, including the closure of the university's Robert E. Kennedy's library for major renovations over the next two years.

Projects include “building the John Madden Football Center, reconfiguring the Administration Building parking lot, renovating the interior of the University Union, expanding the Technology Park, and beginning the Kennedy Library transformation,” according to a press release produced by Cal Poly.

These projects will lead to temporary closures of spaces which may inconvenience employees, students, and campus visitors.

In an interview with KSBY, Anthony Palazzo, the Executive Director of Facilities Planning and Capital Projects said that, while the total funds devoted to construction was roughly in line with previous years, this summer likely held a greater number of projects than previous years.

"The reality is that we’ve had a major project on campus going on every year for the last five years," said Palazzo, labelling the renovations to the Kennedy Library as this summer’s largest project.

Speaking about the library project, which he said is still on track for a “late 2025 opening,” Palazzo described the renovation as an attempt to “create a facility that is more conducive to how education works in the modern day” and one which will “bring students to the library who may not have gone otherwise.”

The library officially closed on June 16.

Specific changes include an expansion of 24-hour study spaces and collaboration areas, improvements to the building’s accessibility, inclusion, and safety, and the addition of an air-conditioning system, which Palazzo described as something which will be "a huge comfort."

Changes aim to bring the library up to California standards and reduce its energy consumption by up to one-third.

While the library is closed, Cal Poly will work to rehouse its services elsewhere. Some of its physical collection will, for instance, be moved off-site and will be able to be accessed upon student request, and the college will "try to make as many study spaces as we can," including the planned installation of temporary study structures.

When asked about concerns regarding interruptions to campus productivity, Palazzo stated that the university will "try to push as much information out as we can as to where services will be." He added, "As long as the pattern is set the first day, then students are very adept at adjusting to the new normal."

However, Palazzo reminded students to "always be aware of their surroundings" when around construction zones.

“When it’s done, it’s going to be amazing,” Palazzo said.