Update on the Learning Commons Project

Update on the Learning Commons Project

Dear Colleagues,

I write with a brief update on the Learning Commons Project.

The first (demolition) phase of the renovation is now complete.  Library employees and representatives of user groups toured the cleared space on May 10th.  At the end of the tour, the project’s Executive Committee gave a comprehensive update on consultation, funding, life in the temporary library, construction timelines and plans for moving back into the renovated space.  A question and answer period followed.  The Executive’s PowerPoint is too large for distribution on lists.  But I would be happy to send it to any individuals interested in its details.

The tour and update capped a day of consultation of user groups on office and furniture needs led by Project Technician Celine Jury and User Champion Jessica Riddell.  These consultations were productive.  Celine and Jessica will follow up where necessary.  The student body will be widely consulted (in collaboration with our colleagues on the SRC) on study space needs/preferences at the beginning of the Fall 2017 semester.

Closing date on the University’s Call for Tenders for the construction phase of the renovation was May 4.  The winning bid was made by Geratek – a company with whom Bishop’s has worked in the past (they extended and renovated the Sports Centre).  Construction is slated to begin June 5th.  We remain on track to finish the project and open the new building for the Fall 2018 semester.

Daniel Bromby has graciously agreed to supervise the Herculean task of planning the move of the Library’s collections back into the renovated space.  He and his colleagues are already at work making the calculations necessary in order to have the most robust and accessible versions of these collections in place when the Learning Commons opens its doors.  I take this opportunity, on behalf of the Executive and Steering Committees of the Project, to express my appreciation to Daniel for taking on this important work.

Eliza McKnight has graciously agreed to work, in collaboration with the University’s Communications Office, on a Learning Commons Webpage.  The page would keep users (and the wider world) updated on progress of the project, management of collections and other FAQs.  We will also use it to preview spaces in the new building – displaying architectural 3D images and featuring discussion of the resources and possibilities of some new space each month of the 2017-18 academic year running up to the opening of the building.  Again, on the behalf the Executive and Steering Committees of the Project, I thank Eliza for leading this effort.  The end of construction is only the beginning of our genuine work – which is to bring our new Learning Commons to life.

I hope this note finds you well as summer stretches out finally in front of us.


Jamie Crooks
Director, Bishop’s Learning Commons Project