RENOVATION OF A PART OF THE AUGUSTUS C. LONG LIBRARY IN the Julius and Armand Hammer Health Sciences Center has given students a modern 4,200-square-foot study and social space available 24/7.
The students asked for more dedicated space for relaxation and study, and the renovation of the southern side of the library’s lobby level answers the request. “When I first came to P&S last year, there were only a few places where students could eat and spend time between classes,” says second-year student Kim Jain. The challenge of finding space became even more pronounced during her second year, when most classes take place in the Hammer building.
“There was a campus-wide need to improve student space,” says Patrick Burke, a registered architect who is director of design and construction for CUMC. “This renovation further integrates the library into both social and academic activities of the students.”
The impact of the renovation was instant. Less than a month after the official opening of the renovated space, “so many students are using the space that it can be hard to find a computer,” Ms. Jain says. “But it makes a huge difference in terms of being able to be at the library and have a place for a group to study, talk, and eat.”
The library named for Augustus C. Long, former trustee of what is now New York-Presbyterian Hospital and former chairman and CEO of Texaco had changed little since it opened in the Hammer building in 1976. Although Mr. Long, who died in 2001, had no formal connection to Columbia University, he was hospital board chairman during a time when the hospital and Columbia worked together to raise private funds for what was known as Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. An anonymous donation made in his honor in 1963 stipulated that the new health sciences library be named for him, says Stephen Novak, head of archives and special collections at CUMC.
When the library was built, it had a more segmented layout with little emphasis on flow, says John Rasile, a registered architect who is project manager in CUMC facilities management. The circulation and reference desks sat
Glenda Garvey Teaching Academy
When the new library space was dedicated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in January, the event also celebrated the launch of the Glenda Garvey Teaching Academy, established in 2005 to support teaching, learning, and educational scholarship throughout the medical center. The first 12 members of the academy were announced in September; those who could attend the January event were introduced at the ribbon-cutting.
The academy’s stated mission is to recognize excellence in education through several activities: supporting researchers with grants; providing mentors to faculty for guidance with grants, teaching techniques and curricula; and organizing retreats, colloquia and presentations for the medical center community to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration.
The academy was named for the late Glenda Garvey’69, a faculty member remembered as an outstanding clinician and teacher who trained more than 3,000 medical center students and every intern and resident who passed through the Department of Medicine. Thomas Garrett, M.D., professor of clinical medicine, is director of the academy.
“The academy is an ambitious and necessary endeavor that will keep Columbia faculty on the cutting edge of teaching and research,” says Ronald Drusin’66, interim senior associate dean for education. “Under Tom Garrett’s leadership, the Garvey academy will allow excellence to thrive and help the university continue Glenda’s legacy of achievement at Columbia. By introducing the Garvey Academy members at the time of the unveiling of the new student space in the library, we signaled the beginning of a new era in education throughout the medical center.”
opposite each other and functioned separately, a plan that didn’t fully utilize the space. “The new design of the entire lobby level makes a more cohesive use of the space, allowing for more efficient movement throughout the area.”
Incorporating input from both students and administrators, architect Barry Erenberg of Integrated Design Group of Manhattan, who designed other spaces at the medical center, was able to use the most striking features of the old design a glass wall and skylights in the new areas. The planning and construction took approximately eight months.
“The curvilinear aspect of the glass wall, reference, and computer desks now reinforce the architectural feature of the curved grand staircase,” Mr. Rasile says. The new relaxation and study space on the lobby level of the library is divided into three sections by glass walls. A quiet study area sits in the back of the space, a conversation area is in the middle, and a computer lab is in the front.
Like the rest of the Hammer building, the renovated space has wireless network access and has many electrical outlets for users to bring their laptops and other computerized devices. A large digital monitor displays student activities. The space will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to the entire medical center community to encourage interaction among students and faculty.
“This is a dramatic design, and one that adds tremendous life to this facility. It also demonstrates the administration’s commitment to excellence in education by providing a user-friendly space for which there was an obvious need,” says Pat Molholt, associate vice president and associate dean for scholarly resources, who noted that students offered their input during the design process so their requirements would be met. “The space has been used from the moment we opened it, and many students have expressed their delight and appreciation for the new space.”