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The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

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The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

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UNC Asheville set to begin Lipinsky Hall renovations

UNCA campus operations and Ramsey Library staff prepare themselves for the coming Lipinsky Hall renovations. During construction, Lipinsky Hall will be emptied and locations across campus will be utilized as temporary classrooms, offices and performance areas. 

“We have funding for the project and we’re getting ready to start design work and design work will take us about 18 months,” said David Todd, associate vice chancellor for campus operations. “Once that’s done we’ll start construction which will take another, roughly, 18 months.” 

The state funded renovation is in its early stages and its design team is made up of half of the Lipinsky Hall faculty, Todd said. Campus operations will soon choose the head designer. 

“We’ll go through what’s called programming,” Todd said. “So if you need a classroom, how many students need to fit in that classroom, and does it need to be a smart classroom? Once we get through that we’ll start to decide how the building is actually affected.” 

Ramsey Library and Highsmith Student Union will be two of the central locations used for temporary relocation, Todd said. 

“A portion of the lower level of Ramsey Library is one of the flex locations on campus where units displaced by the Lipinsky renovation will be temporarily relocated,” said Brandy Bourne, university librarian. 

Ramsey Library proposed a plan to potentially relocate the Media Design Lab and CrAFT Studio alongside the Writing Center, Research Services, Tutoring Center and IT Help Desk, Bourne said. 

“Last year, it was proposed this move could accomplish two goals: better serving students and providing much needed temporary space during the Lipinsky renovation,” Bourne said. 

Ramsey librarians reviewed books in sections Q-Z that show no sign of being reshelved or checked out in 20 years, Bourne said. Faculty marked books to easily access titles under review, while some departments across campus decided to move underused books to areas within their buildings. The library will convert a number of physical books into e-books.

Bourne said Ramsey Library consulted with other UNC system libraries as well as with the American Library Association, which recommended this method of collection review and management. 

“The process has been an opportunity to ensure the books on our shelves align with current research and pedagogical needs, and faculty were invited to consider both what is and isn’t there,” Bourne said. 

Through this process, Bourne said, Ramsey Library is working alongside its Western North Carolina Library Network partners, Western Carolina University and Appalachian State University, to create a shared library system. 

“In the spirit of viva la print media, it’s tragic,” said Rory Killian, a second year jazz and contemporary major. 

Killian, an avid visitor to the library, said he found himself distraught at the thought of books being removed, but after receiving more information the removal became less sensational. 

“The library is a stellar institution,” Killian said. “At least the upper floor, but I’ve never really been directed to the main floor and that collection of books (under review).” 

Although Killian is a music student, he said he hardly spends his time in Lipinsky Hall unless he is in class. He studies in different locations across campus and checks out books from the library ranging from music to literature. 

“I’m not a music tech student, and I’m not really reliant on the studios and recording space,” Killian said. “For me it’s really the instructions from the professors.” 

Killian said he spends a great amount of time in his room practicing and is not too stressed about the Lipinsky or library renovations. 

“As long as they’re not burning books, I won’t lose any sleep,” Killian said.

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