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Roy O. West Library renovation to break ground in June

Rendering of exterior of renovated Roy O. West Library
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The $30 million renovation of DePauw University’s Roy O. West Library, which was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic, will resume in June, the result of a decision today by two Board of Trustees committees.

The Executive Committee and the Finance and Business Affairs Committee unanimously endorsed proceeding with the project, which will transform the library into a hub for multi-media, group collaboration, research, social interaction, advanced technology resources and individual study. The renovation is expected to be completed before the start of spring term 2023. 

“An outstanding library, equipped with resources, collaborative space and technology as a 21st-century learning environment, is the academic heart of a campus,” President Lori S. White said. “We have raised more than $23 million for this project from donors who recognize the enormous value of this resource to our student body and to prospective students who expect nothing less as they make their college choice.

“With those great benefits in mind, and with the recognition of ever-rising costs of construction, our university’s fiscal leaders deemed it prudent to move forward with this transformation as an important investment in the long-term future of our university.”

Rendering of interior of library
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Rendering of library reading room
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Rendering of reading room fireplace
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Geosciences professor Jeanette Pope expressed gratitude to the board “for recognizing just how important this is to the campus community. A library isn’t just a storage room for books; it’s a place that fosters learning and discovery, in groups or in individual contemplation. Investing in library is a clear demonstration of how the trustees believe in DePauw and in our future.”  

Built in 1957, “Roy O” has been a fixture in DePauw’s academic life for 64 years. The renovated library will include 12,000 square feet of new space, including a reading/study room with a two-story atrium and fireplace plus a new façade of windows overlooking Indiana Street to more visually connect the library with downtown Greencastle.

The library will provide space for the Tenzer Technology Center; team-based learning and project work; study rooms with built-in technology; meeting rooms and collaboration space; a laptop instruction lab; virtual reality and maker lab; modern archival storage and services; and enhanced space for the DePauw archives. New lighting and a more efficient heating and cooling system will be included. And Café Roy, a favorite hangout for students and alumni, will be expanded.  

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