The days following Commencement weekend brought a new stage of library renovations and a roped-off quadrangle for the removal of a century-old tree. The two projects are but part of a slate of improvements the University is undergoing—including the current renovations to West Union and the upcoming restoration of Duke Chapel and Page Auditorium.
The entrance and lobby area of Perkins Library are being renovated, requiring the closure of the main entrance beginning this week and lasting until summer 2015, The Chronicle previously reported. To accommodate the change, the side entrance facing Bostock Library is now unlocked during the day and a Help Desk has been placed near the doors. The rear entrance to von der Heyden Pavilion will also be accessible during the renovations.
The first floor of Bostock is undergoing renovations to facilitate the establishment of the Research Commons—an area that will combine technological services with collaborative work spaces, similar to those of the Link. The floor will be closed until Oct. 31 while the $3.5 million project is completed.
Meanwhile, the quadrangle anchored by the Social Psychology and Old Chemistry buildings has been roped off to allow for the removal of an infected willow oak tree. Earlier in the week, a willow oak in front of the Allen Building that is similarly infected underwent the same procedure. Among the original plantings on West Campus, the trees recently developed fungal infections in their roots that the Facilities Department observed.
All parts of the trees will be recycled, noted an internal notification sent to the Facilities Department.
"Duke University has a wood policy that ensures we are good stewards of our trees by providing guidelines about how we use the wood harvested on campus," the notification read.
Portions of the trees will be given to Durham’s Museum of Life and Science, so that tree trunks can be used for play areas in the museum’s Hideaway Woods. The solid pieces of the tree will be milled and available for campus projects including buildings, cabinets, theater sets and student work. Smaller pieces of wood will be given to Duke employees who depend on wood heat during the winter and the smallest branches and leaves will be used for mulch around campus.
"I am thrilled that Duke is putting so much time and money into treecycling," Katie Rose Levin, natural resource manager of Duke Facilities, wrote in an email Wednesday. She noted that trees will be replanted in the area in an arrangement similar to the original.
The start of the summer session also saw an additional section of the Bryan Center Plaza closed to pedestrians for continued work on the new West Union. The exit from the Flowers Building to the plaza—used by many members of the community as a shortcut since the original closure of part of the plaza last Fall—is now inaccessible.