Built in 1965, the original Stewart Library was only a 75,000-square-foot facility with few accommodations.
Now, following a $20 million renovation that took over 15 months to complete, the library became fully open to the public at the grand re-opening ceremony on Aug. 31.
Much like an open house, the event allowed attendees to tour the building and observe its improvements.
“I am so happy and so pleased. It looks so beautiful and light with all the windows. It’s so warm and welcoming, so different from what it used to be,” said Madonne Miner, dean of Weber State University’s Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities and provost of the university.
Public relations director Allison Hess explained the renovation in detail. With phase 2 complete, the new library has new wall windows overlooking the Steward Bell Tower Plaza from level 2 and Tracy Hall on levels 2 and 3.
The addition of these windows allows for better natural lighting. Sunlight increases serotonin in the body, which helps keep a person happier and more focused in their work. A happier student can accomplish more versus one in the dark.
“The main entrance lobby also has been remodeled to allow for better way-finding, more space for student gathering and enhanced daylight,” Hess said.
The renovation’s goal was to increase functionality and workspace for the students, making it easier for students to find a place suited for them within the library’s walls.
“We are already seeing an increase in the number of students using the library and all the comments I’ve heard have been positive,” said Sandi Andrews, the Circulation Services manager at Stewart Library. “The students are the reason we love what we do, and having them enjoy and use the library means a lot to library staff.”
Weber State University president Charles Wight praised the building at the event.
“It’s a brand-new, revitalized Stewart Library, and we’re eager to have people discover it,” Wight said.