Berry Library lacks $10 million

by Maura Henninger | 1/29/98 6:00am

The Berry Library project still needs to raise at least $10 million in funds for the academic side of the library and $5 million for the library side, though the official groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for May 5, 1998.

The Berry planning committee anticipated the need for additional fundraising, Director of Major Gifts Paul Sheff said, but the extra funding required for the new academic wing adds considerably to the amount that still needs to be raised.

Although the planning committee originally presumed the almost $35 million in gifts given in 1992 by John and George Berry and George Baker would be invested and grow to near $60 million, committee members are anxious that the additional money come in as soon as possible, Sheff said.

"Now is the time we need it, but there isn't a precise deadline. We're not saying it has to be raised by next month or else," Assistant Provost Margaret Dyer-Chamberlain said.

The question of whether or not the trustees should delve into the endowment has been raised in the event the proper funds do not become available. But a decision to use the endowment, Trustee Kate Stith-Cabranes said, is not something she could comment on without a statement made by the trustees.

The trustees' current approach is to proceed with the building only after the funds are in hand, or at least guaranteed to be in hand, Stith-Cabranes said.

Fundraising for the two sections of the library are separate ventures. Money from the donation of John Berry '44 will not be used for the academic wing of the library, in accordance with his wishes.

The need for a $10 million donation opens up an opportunity for a single donator to give the entire amount for the new wing and would earn the donator's name a revered place on a campus building.

The Alumni Giving office is talking with several people, but Dyer-Chamberlain said it is too early to speculate on anyone in particular.

Though Sheff is optimistic that the additional funds will be raised in a short time, there are no guarantees, especially as construction begins on March 16.

The plan for the additional academic wing of Berry was developed less than a year ago after the architects for the library pointed out that the Berry Library program didn't make maximum use of the site's potential.

Originally, the additional building was planned to occupy approximately 300,000 square feet. After discussions, the plan was reduced to a more economically viable version with a building taking up 200,000 square feet.

The academic wing of the building, built on the western side of the original building plan, was schematically finished during the summer. It will house the History Department and additional classrooms in order to alleviate a space crunch problem on Dartmouth Row, Chair of the Library Planning Committee John Crane said.

The additional changes will require the removal of the Kiewit Computing Center building. As a result, most of Computing Services will be housed in the new building, as well as parts of Instructional Services.

The new building will have five levels. The Ground Level will include a pedestrian arcade, classrooms, and a 24 hour cafe/study area. Levels One through Four will include standard library features from the Circulation Desk to the Map Room, as well as classrooms and offices for History Department personnel.

Level 3 will feature a bridge that will connect the Berry and Baker buildings. All levels will include student study space.

The new building is currently in a design/development stage which decides specific interior changes, such as furniture placement. The target date for completion of the library is December 2001.

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