K-State Libraries hosted a virtual ribbon cutting for Hale Library’s grand reopening.
K-State officials and donors read from the Tale of Hale about the history of the library and its reconstruction progress during a livestream.
Before the fire, plans on renovations of the library began back in 2016. Benefactor Ellie Everitt says she and her husband, Dave, believed in this new vision. The Everitts were the lead donors for the project as part of the K-State Foundation’s Innovation and Inspiration campaign.
Then in 2018, an accidental fire was started, but contained on the roof. However, water and smoke caused significant damage to the building. University Library Committee Chair Amy Rosine says 85% of the library was in need of repair.
“In true K-State fashion, K-State Libraries administrators were launching a recovery process while still taking in the damage,” says Rosine. “The plans were never to replace what was lost, but rather to turn the experience into an extraordinary one.”
After the fire, Hale staff was spread across campus. Executive Vice President Chuck Taber says an unanticipated benefit from this was staff working directly with the other departments.
With the renovations complete, students were able to return to Hale back in January, with the remaining floors reopened in February. Some of the new additions include a new first floor entrance, more work and study spaces, a cafe, and a common area on the first floor.
Dean of Libraries Lori Goetsch finished the stream saying unlike a traditional story book, the Tale of Hale will never end.
“As we virtually cut this ribbon, welcoming all to Hale Library, we do so knowing this is only the beginning,” says Goetsch.
Hale Library is now completely open to K-State students and the public.