A number of architectural errors caused renovations in the Leichter Listening Library that were scheduled for the summer to be pushed back.
The listening library is in Wanda L. Bass Music Center. It is used to store musical scores, reference books and other performance-related materials.
The original renovation plans were to extend the library’s west wall to a wall along the edge of the roof. The extra space will double the library’s storage capacity and provide more room for musical scores that previously wouldn’t fit, as well as a designated area for computers and an additional seating area.
The space was designated to be part of the music library when the building was constructed in 2005, but was left out to minimize cost, said Beth Fleming, performing arts librarian.
“Essentially, what we’re doing is building onto the library what was supposed to be a part of the library to begin with,” she said. “Now we’re needing that space, and it can definitely be proven that it’s something that’s going to be quite useful.”
The construction was scheduled to begin May 7, funded partially by the Wanda Bass School of Music and by the Wanda Bass Trust, but a clearance issue delayed the changes to the end of the summer. This was partially due to a difference of understanding between Dr. Mark Parker, dean of music and theater, and Beck Design, the Oklahoma City-based company hired to do the architecture.
The cost estimated by Beck Design officials once they had reached campus didn’t match the price named at the beginning of the process, and price negotiations took up more time during the summer. The final cost totaled out to be $360,000, Parker said.
Clearance eventually was given at the start of this semester, and contracts were signed with Beck Design, but construction was delayed again by the need for specially made steel to create the structure for the new outside walls and roof, which will take another eight weeks to be manufactured and delivered to campus.
Construction now is estimated to start after Fall Break, Fleming said. Officials do not know when it will be finished, but the renovations are likely to take three to four months. All reusable materials from the current wall will be used for the extended one, Fleming said.
Fleming said it would have been more convenient for construction to have happened during the summer because less people use the library then.
She also said the construction will take up parking space on that side of the building and some of the theater loading area, which would have been avoided had the changes been made during the summer.
“That’s going to probably be at least somewhat blocked some of the time during construction, so that could create a little difficulty,” she said. “That’s one of the things where, had it happened during the summer, it would have been so much more accommodating to everybody.”
Kimberly Dyckman, second-year music graduate and Leichter employee, said the expanded storage space will be the most helpful thing about the renovations.
“I’m looking forward to just having more space,” she said. “I actually worked here this past summer, and a lot of that time I spent working here was spent adding things to the collection, so having the expansion just makes it more possible to fit all the things that we’ve been processing.”
Lindsay Steinberg, acting junior, said the music library is most convenient because of its free services.
“It saves me a lot of money because music is hella expensive,” she said. “Most of the time you pay anywhere between $5-$7 for a single song, sheet music-wise, and here, I can go in and look up pretty much any Broadway score, pretty much any pop song, and the sheet music’s right there at my fingertips, and I don’t have to pay a single thing.”
Fleming said the construction will be a welcome change, whenever it does end up being finished.
“When it gets done, it’ll be quality, and that’s what really counts,” she said.