On May 22, around 4 p.m., the sound of sirens wailed as fire trucks raced over to Hale Library. As the fire spread on the roof, everyone inside the building fled outside to safety.
After the crew and specialists inspected the smoke-filled building, they determined that most of the damage was a side effect from the heavy smoke and water from putting out the fire.
“Most of the first floor will open fall 2019 — the rest of the building, with the possible exception of the 1927 wing, will open fall 2020,” Lori Goetsch, dean of libraries, said.
Goetsch also said the building’s recovery phase has ended and has been emptied of all unsalvageable materials and has been cleaned thoroughly.
As for the future of the library, Goetsch said students can expect a lot of changes.
“Students can expect more and improved study spaces, collaborative group study rooms, spaces for distinct collections like juvenile literature and art/music, a cafe and seminar/instruction rooms,” Goetsch said. “The biggest positive is that we get to rethink individual and group study space and offer new services like the Innovation Lab. The negative, of course, is that this happened in the first place. Now we need to look at it as an opportunity.”