The Robert E. Kennedy Library renovation design team held its first town hall meeting to discuss library renovations Nov. 2. It was the first of many meetings that will take place over the next seven months. Students and staff participated in discussions, helped create vision boards and voiced their opinions on the future of the library.
According to Stacey White, liaison between Cal Poly and the renovation design team, the school was allotted $55 million by the state of California to renovate Kennedy Library.
“This has been a project 20 years in the making. The library has been very active in soliciting funds to be able to renovate the space,” White said.
In order to utilize the money to best benefit the students and staff, the library has partnered with two design firms, Brightspot Strategy and BNIM.
Through a series of visits that will span from now until May 2018, Brightspot Strategy and BNIM will be performing programming and feasibility studies White said. The studies will include different activities and presentations to narrow down what students and staff want in the renovated library.
“We are doing the visioning for the future library, as well as the concept design. So it’s going to go all the way from ‘What do we want to see more of, what kind of library do we want to have on campus and how does that look in this building?’” Associate Director of Brightspot Strategy Amanda Worth said.
The process aims to involve as many students as possible. According to Worth, the initial goal is to create a plan for an ideal library crafted by the Cal Poly community that can realistically fit into the space provided.
Town hall meeting attendee and architecture junior Chaomin Chen participated in the brainstorming activities because she wanted to share her opinions regarding a new library. Although she feels some changes to the library could be beneficial, she is concerned they will not be able to fulfill everyone’s needs.
“I feel like we won’t know what we want until we get it, and the library for me is already pretty good. And by pushing it further it might just become a way too open activity room instead of a library,” Chen said.
After seven months of brainstorming and refining ideas, BNIM will begin making concrete plans, and renovation will
“I can say that I have been working in this building for 20 years on different design projects and I’ve never seen a group more optimistic and excited about the potential,” White said.