By Kara Sherrer
Since Nashville is the largest city in the path of totality, most residents will spend today obsessing over the eclipse. But at 8 a.m., something else happened that will impact Owen students for much longer than the eclipse’s two and half minutes: The Walker Management Library reopened its doors after a major renovation.
“I’m really pleased with how excited people were to come in. They were here at 7:15 (before we opened) just to check it out,” Hilary Craiglow, Director of the Walker Management Library, said. “The second year (students) can’t quite believe it. Someone just said it looks like a completely different building.”
Construction projects are notorious for delays, but the library team crammed a six-month renovation project into just over three months of concentrated work. The construction team worked triple shifts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to get the project done on time. The only structures that remain from the original library are the bathrooms on the second floor, and even those were completely gutted.
“Our students don’t live in an 8-to-5 world. They study and work together all hours of the day and night, all year long. We really needed space that worked that hard, as hard as the school works.” – Hilary Craiglow
(Scroll down for a virtual tour of the space, including the gas-lit fireplace, cabana-style seating, and more.)
The new space was designed by EOA Architects and built by Burns Construction; Chief Business Officer Caitlin Mullaney (MBA ’13) and Craiglow oversaw the entire project from beginning to end.
The new library will also be open 24 hours for studying, effective immediately.
“Our students don’t live in an 8-to-5 world. They study and work together all hours of the day and night, all year long,” said Craiglow. “We really needed space that worked that hard, as hard as the school works.”
Of course, library staff will still be on hand during the day, helping students navigate the digital catalog, use the Bloomberg terminals, check out equipment, and more. The library services area will be protected by a gate after hours. In addition, the library will be monitored at all hours by a security system with cameras, which VUPD helped implement.
The Walker Management Library at Vanderbilt Business hadn’t undergone major renovations since it opened its doors 35 years ago, in 1987.