Special Collections will be renamed for Rauner '78

by Charles Davant | 8/16/96 5:00am

The College's Special Collections library, which is permanently moving to Webster Hall, will be renamed the Rauner Special Collections Library, after Bruce Rauner '78.

Rauner, a venture capitalist from Chicago, donated $5 million to help fund the renovation of Webster Hall, expected to cost approximately $10 million.

Director of Major Gifts Paul Sheff said the College had hoped to give the collection a name all along.

"This is precisely what we had worked for, planned for, hoped for," he said.

A gift of 51 percent of a building's cost usually gives the donor the privilege of naming the building.

Sheff said while it is premature to judge when the Collge will move Special Collections into Webster, renovations could begin as early as next year.

The Webster renovations will provide much-needed space for the millions of books, manuscripts and photographs in Special Collections. Currently, the rare items are in an overcrowded space at Baker Library.

The conversion of Webster into Special Collections is just one part of the College's northward physical expansion plan.

Plans are also being made for the construction of a new $19 million psychology building, to be located on Maynard Street.

Although the College is behind schedule in starting construction on the new building, the project should be finished by late 1998, according to Director of Facilites Planning Gordie DeWitt.

Because of design changes -- like the addition of a large auditorium -- serious construction will not begin until next spring, DeWitt said.

Construction of the foundation could begin next month. DeWitt said the College hopes to have the Pizigalli Construction Company build the foundation while they are building the steam tunnel to the new north campus area.

Another part of the north campus expansion, the construction of several new parking lots, is also progressing, and some of the parking lots in the area have already been completed.

The proposed Berry Library, another part of the expansion scheme, is still in the planning phase.

The Berry Library Building Committee is currently dividing the proposed facility's 80,000 square feet among its various components. The library will include a 24-hour coffee shop, small classrooms and meeting areas, electronic access facilities and book storage space.

During Winter term, 64 faculty members signed a petition expressing concern that the building will devote too much space to computers and meeting areas, and not do enough to alleviate the College's overflow of books.

But in an interview this week, Building Committee Chair John Crane said there is "widespread support" for the current proposal, which was released at a public meeting in May.

"In general, we've not had any negative feedback to that," he said. Crane said the committee has not yet decided how much space to devote to stacks.

The north campus expansion will also necessitate demolition of Bradley and Gerry Halls, which currently house the math and psychology departments.

DeWitt said Facilities Planning is currently investigating a proposal that would move the math department into Fairchild Hall. This would link the math department with several other science departments, such as physics and chemistry, located there.

"It seems to the Dean of the Faculty's office a good idea academically," he said. "And spacewise, it would avoid having to build a new math building."

DeWitt said the examination of the proposal will be completed next month.