What will be happening to the old library?
By Gregory Balanko-Dickson, Contributor
Earlier this year, administration at Mount Royal University put the bookstore, campus card services and parking services all in one centralized space — the previous library home, prior to construction of the Riddell Library and Learning Centre. This left many wondering what is happening to the space the bookstore previously occupied, along with questions about future plans for the MRU campus. Andrea Ranson, Director of Marketing and Communications at the university, shares what changes are happening on campus.
Ranson says MRU “needed a spot on the university that was large enough to accommodate the bookstore, parking and campus card services.” Centralizing some of MRU’s offered services allow for “better flow and functionality of that space.” Ranson says, “We want all of those services to be together. It’s way more convenient to students.”
While it is more convenient for students to have centralized services, Ranson says, “Our faculty is really up-to-date on the newest teaching and learning. And our infrastructure, particularly in the main building, hasn’t kept up.”
MRU is currently working on keeping its infrastructure up to date by doing renovations in the old bookstore. The projects “should be done by the end of December and they’ll all be moving back in, in the new year to the old bookstore.”
“The next priority is to repurpose and renovate the vacant spaces in the main building,” according to Ranson and the Campus Master Plan. She also shares that MRU wants to renovate the old conservatory and small music rooms into more classrooms and labs.
After this is done focus will be put on, “the old library and centralizing everything for students,” says Ranson. “So, including academic advising, the registrar, some classrooms, again, on the second level of that library study spaces, international centre, they would all be relocated and repurposed in the old library. They’re looking to put on a second level on partial of where the library is now.”
The Lincoln Park building was constructed in 1972 — and MRU has “a lot more students now” than it did then. In light of this, MRU’s administration is looking to “improve the walkways on main street and then create a cross one — a north-south one.”
Ranson says that by adding all this to MRU’s campus, it will “take our existing infrastructure and really connect it all together.” Moreover, Ranson thinks it will make MRU’s “educational experience way better.”