While renovation of the Taubman Health Sciences Library began Monday, the library may experience periodic closures and traffic in the area may at times be rerouted away from construction zones.

The construction will add more classroom space, technology updates and a new library design, which was unanimously approved by the University’s Board of Regents last March. The new layout involves moving the majority of the print texts housed at the Taubman Library to an off-site location in order to create more room for discussion-style classrooms. Some of these original print texts have already been relocated to the Hatcher Graduate Library. The renovation is expected to be completed by mid-2015.

Associate University Librarian Jane Blumenthal, director of the Taubman Health Sciences Library, said the building’s staff hopes to ameliorate inconveniences caused by the renovation.

“We’ve been working even before the building closure to minimize, as much as possible, the impact of the renovation on students,” Blumenthal said.

However, short-term effects of the renovation have the potential to disturb some Ann Arbor residents and hospital employees.

Plans are in place for the pedestrian paths around the library to be rerouted and bus stops to be temporarily relocated. One lane of Catherine Street will be closed during some periods of the construction. There will be a temporary bus stop on West Medical Center Drive for the Research Link bus. All other busses can be accessed on Glen Avenue or Zina Pitcher Place.

The library’s renovation has also forced the closure of sidewalks along the corner of Catherine Street and Glen Avenue and the pedestrian bridge located in front of the library over Glen Avenue. Part of the Medical Sciences Research Building’s courtyard will also be closed.

Jim Kosteva, the University’s director of community relations, said he predicts slower traffic flow in the area surrounding the library during the construction process.

“Delays are most often encountered in the very early stages of construction and then people adapt,” Kosteva said. “We apologize for the inconveniences, but we have great hope and anticipation that the renovations will foster the enhanced learning environment we expect. We make the best efforts to incorporate alternate methods of pedestrian and vehicular access and attempt to provide sufficient notice so that people can prepare to utilize the alternatives.”

Print materials have been moved to the Health Sciences Remote Shelving Facility and can only be accessed by University Library staff or upon request. Blumenthal said these changes will not negatively affect students.

“Our staff is as available as ever for in-person consultations, email assistance, and in-classroom instruction,” Blumenthal said. “Being in the hospital during the renovation brings us even closer to where many of our students spend their time, and we hope to take the opportunity to build stronger connections with the health sciences community.”

Kosteva added that this inconvenience will ultimately benefit the University.

“We want to provide the best quality education for Michigan students interested in pursuing careers in the health field and in turn provide better services to society.”

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