Renovations to the windows in the Great Room 304 at Hale Library will hopefully give students a better atmosphere to study in, as well as better preserve the murals on the walls, according to library officials.
“People will see a huge difference,” Roberta Johnson, senior director for administration and information technology services for Hale Library, said. “They’re so bright and really light up the room.”
The previous windows’ lining were made of zinc, which made it hard and expensive to replace. Several windows were also cracked, prone to occasionally letting in snow during winter, according to Johnson. Lastly, the windows offered no protection for the four wall murals, which were painted by muralist David Hicks Overmyer in 1934, and were recently restored at a cost of $150,000.
Now, the arched windows feature a purple border and have a special ultraviolet protection to better preserve the historic murals. Willet Hauser Architectural Glass Company, who were contracted for the renovation, fabricated new glass windows and replaced the old ones. This was the first renovation in the original 1927 part of the building.
The entire renovation came from a private donor, Mark Chapman, a K-State alumnus. Chapman was reported to say that his inspiration to fund the renovation came after he took a tour of the library and saw the need. Otherwise, according to Johnson, the renovation would not have been completed.
The total cost of the project was $325,000 and started immediately after students left for summer vacation, though some work was done during last spring semester’s finals week.
“As usual, with old buildings, you run into problems you don’t expect,” Johnson said. “But we managed to finish on time and on budget.”
While Johnson said that the windows provide a visible change to the room, some students may be unaware of the change. Such is the case with Chad Olney, freshman in civil engineering.
“I had only visited on a tour before,” Olney said. “I didn’t even know the windows were new. But they look pretty nice.”
Other students, however, have noticed the change and have appreciated the new ambiance it provides.
“I think it’s a good way to accent our pride as K-State students,” Aubrey Illig, sophomore in graphic design, said. “I don’t think people would notice something small like the border but as a graphic designer, it’s the small things that matter. It’s just one more thing to show that K-State pride is in everything we do, even in the windows.”