Milne Library to begin renovation within the next three years, Facilities and Planning says

Upcoming changes to Milne Library within the next couple of years will include both cosmetic and infrastructure changes. The main floor (pictured above) will be included in the renovation (Josie Kwani/associate photo editor).

In partnership with the State University Construction Fund, Geneseo has launched the initial steps toward a full renovation of Milne Library, estimated to begin in the next three years.

Milne Library is currently going through a library program study. This process involves interaction with architects, consultants and others about potentials for the library to assess what spaces will look like, and how this will accommodate the needs of the campus community. 

Library Director Ben Rawlins explained the beginning phases of the project. 

“The library program study began a couple of weeks ago,” Rawlins said. “Thus far, we have met with CIT [and CAS] and they are planning on meeting with students as well because the building is used most by students.” 

Facilities and Planning services is running a student body survey to gain feedback about what works, what doesn’t work and what students would like to see in the future library. The survey expires on Monday Feb. 11. 

“We encourage students to fill out the survey and we will also be hosting a student forum,” Rawlins said. “We want to analyze better ways that we can use the space. In a non-formal setting, students have expressed their concerns to me about increasing the amount of study space, quiet study space and study rooms.” 

According to the Milne Library website news section, the changes coming soon to the library will be “expanded study space, [a] brighter environment, new furniture, and much more.” The library also has an interactive floor plan available on their website. 

“Once the program study is done, we will get a final report and decide on some type of concept, and then that will have to be designed,” Rawlins said. “From there, we will have to ensure that the funding is available from the state. This process should take three to five years.” 

The cost of the project is developed throughout its procedures. As Facilities and Planning services work toward an approved concept, consultants will work with the SUCF and use a cost estimating sub-consultant to develop an estimate in the months ahead, according to the office of Facilities and Planning services. 

“There hasn’t been much renovation since the building was created in 1966,” Rawlins said. “There are lots of different ways that we can use space here and provide more space for students as well as provide the right space for students.”

According to the student survey, the college is interested in knowing what students would like to see more of in the library such as more computers and printers, improved access to library resources, more books, group study rooms,  study tables, study carrels or quiet study space. 

“This project would most likely be a phased renovation because we will likely move people around or move people temporarily,” Assistant Vice President for Facilities and Planning services George Stooks said. “The funding model is such that I do not think we will get the funding all at one time.”

As the project moves into the more finite stages of design, the estimate is refined at certain milestones, starting with schematic design and culminating with construction documents, according to Stooks.

“The way it works with the SUNY system is that we send out advertisements, and any eligible contractor can bid on it,” Stooks said. “Their eligibility is based on if they have done similar projects, worked for the state before or if they’ve been successful in similar sized projects. We essentially pick the apparent low bidder.” 

The SUCF lists similar renovation projects on their tentative bid listing for February 2019, including a $15 million to $20 million renovation at SUNY Fredonia for an academic hall. The renovation design phase for this project began in 2014. 

“The initial phase we are in right now, otherwise known as program study, attempts to understand all of the elements that make up the library for students,” Stooks said. 

The SUCF procures services in architectural and engineering,construction management, commissioning and construction. The program study is led by the SUCF and is part of the architectural and engineering process. 

You can complete the Facilities and Planning services student survey regarding renovations to Milne Library at