Library to install new stairs by January 2020

Rendering from the UConn Library

The University of Connecticut Homer Babbidge Library will undergo construction beginning this summer to install a glass-enclosed stairwell on the south side of the building. 

This stairwell will be accessible throughout the building to get from floor to floor, but can only be used as an exit in an emergency, Jean Nelson, head of library communications and engagement, said.  

“The stairwell is being built to ensure we remain compliant with the building code that dictates proper egress,” Nelson said. “The need to add the additional exit is the direct result of the increased seating capacity added over the last few years.” 

Construction will begin on May 13, including demolition on part of Levels B, 2 and 3, Nelson said. The Q Center will also have to be relocated to a new space on Level 3.  

The plaza deck will be closed for construction starting on June 27, and the staircase glass enclosure will be installed on Sept. 3, Nelson said.  

“The work starting around June 27 and running for a few weeks into the middle and end of July is where we expect the most impact to our users,” Nelson said. “There will be considerable noise throughout the day as well as some restrictions on access to the south side of the building.” 

There will be work still happening in the fall, Nelson said, but there will be no work that has noise impact around finals time. 

The stairwell is expected to be complete in January 2020, according to a library construction briefing.  


Ashley Anglisano is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at ashley.anglisano@uconn.edu.