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Get a sneak peek at the Neilson Library renovation as of fall 2020!
In June 2017, a large elm tree in front of Neilson Library was taken down. The utility rerouting required for the new library construction impacted the root base of the tree and it was removed as a precaution. The wood from the tree, however, will live on as eight unique pieces of furniture in the new Neilson Library.
The first stages of site work outside of the Neilson Library construction perimeter will begin July 27, 2020. Existing light poles on the walk from the entrance to Bass Hall, passing in front of Burton and up to Chapin Lawn will be replaced with the new poles and fixtures. The walks will be passable.
On Monday, May 18, 2020 per order of the Governor, the Commonwealth reduced restrictions on construction activity within its borders. For the past six weeks, the project team has moved from full shutdown to a cautious ramping up of activity and has implemented new protocols for the protection of construction workers at the Neilson Library and Alumnae Gym work sites. The worker safety protocols put in place, and the essential work completed to protect the building, will allow construction progress to approach productivity levels from the pre-COVID 19 era.
In order to support worksite health and safety, construction has been discontinued on the Neilson Library project including Neilson Library and Alumnae Gym. A preliminary construction restart date of May 4, 2020 has been set, but conditions will be reassessed and there is a significant chance that the closure will be extended.
Read the letter to the Smith community about the Neilson Library project.
Construction activity is planned over spring recess that is outside of the Neilson construction perimeter and will impact access into Wright Hall and Wright Hall parking, including the handicap parking at the building. The work is scheduled to begin on Monday, March 16 and continue through Friday, March 20. Accessible access into Wright Hall will be maintained at all times and required egress routes will be provided. Accessible pedestrian access will also be maintained on paths and drives around the building without major detours and handicap parking will be relocated to within 200 feet of the building entrance.
The mood is upbeat at the construction site with the weather improving and work for the most part unencumbered by the elements. The building exterior is approaching completion as masons install the limestone blocks under the staging wraps and roofers complete the slate tile on the 1909 Neilson sloped roofs. The contractor expects to have the entire exterior facade completed in about two months.
The contractor will be working a second shift at the library for the next two weeks or so. Shawmut Construction will keep a project manager on site from 3 p.m. until 11 p.m. to supervise a crew that will be applying spray foam insulation to the interior face of the 1909 masonry walls. This means that the construction lights inside the building will be on until 11:30 p.m. This work is being done in the evening to not impact the other trades who are working in the building during the day hours and to help keep the project moving forward on schedule.
There will be underground utility work occurring Monday, November 25 and Tuesday November 26 at the northwest corner of the construction site near Wright Hall. The contractor will be completing work on the 8 inch water service that passes between Neilson Library and Wright Hall. This work will not impact water service to any buildings and will not impact access to the entrances to Wright Hall.
Fall 2019 Project Update: Much of the work completed since last spring, including the new structure and exterior facades on the building are speaking for themselves.
Dean of Libraries Susan Fliss shares details about the new Neilson Library. From a Learning Commons for integrated support from learning specialists, to moveable stacks, to an entire wing dedicated to Special Collections, the new library is designed to meet educational needs today—and in the future.