Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Thursday, June 13, 2024 — Houston, TX

Fondren south to reopen by Thanksgiving

Photo by Jessica Kelly | The Rice Thresher
Fondren renovations

By Sydney Garrett     11/18/15 9:16am

Minor setbacks during renovations to Fondren Library’s south reading room pushed its expected completion date to Nov. 23, according to Vice Provost and university librarian Sara Lowman. The renovations were originally expected to be completed over midterm recess.

The south reading room has been closed since May for renovations aimed at creating a study space that is more representative of what students want, Lowman said. According to Lowman, the completion was postponed due to delays in carpet and furniture delivery. 

“[Students] wanted more comfortable furniture, better lighting, better window coverings, not necessarily just technology and different types of seating,” Lowman said. “A lot of time has been spent trying to figure out how to best use our resources to support how students want the library to function.”

The GIS/Data Center began studying where students prefer to study in Fondren Library in response to feedback that students were having difficulties locating places to study. It counted the number of students every hour and mapped the usage of almost every study space, according to Lowman.

The library staff used this information to determine where students like to study and what furniture they prefer. According to Lowman, the staff’s goal was to provide for the possible needs of students in a range of situations.

“We try to provide a wide variety of seating arrangements to reflect how you may want to sit in a lounge chair when you’re reading a book, or you may want to have a study room or a two-person carrel,” Lowman said. “We’ve tried to update the library spaces to reflect the current study experience that students have.”

Duncan College freshman Sam Boyle said she thought the renovations will be a positive addition to the library’s existing study spaces.

“[The south reading room] is kind of out of the way, and I’m usually in the library at night, so I haven’t really noticed it being worked on,” Boyle said. “But it’ll be great to have more large tables for group work on the first floor.”

Lowman said she hopes that the newly renovated south reading room will become popular among students.

“At night, students tend to study on the first floor. I think it feels busier and more active, and probably a little safer,” Lowman said. “So I predict that this area is going to be very popular for studying.”

More from The Rice Thresher

NEWS 6/5/24 7:37pm
NOD permanently canceled, Rice strips away-decades old campus tradition

After 50 years of decadence, Wiess College’s infamous underwear party is no more.  Born in the early 1970s after a group of Wiess students poured all their alcohol into a bathtub — creating a brew “so potent it removed the varnish” — Night of Decadence has spent years in the national eye. Allegedly recognized as one of Playboy’s top college parties in the nation, NOD has also been subject to mounting scrutiny over alcohol use and an “explicitly dangerous and sexual atmosphere.” Rice has now permanently canceled the public, Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman and Wiess magister Flavio Cunha announced in a message to campus June 5.

NEWS 5/24/24 11:48am
Rice Mutual Aid partners with student organizations to fundraise for Gaza

Rice Mutual Aid launched a fundraising campaign for Gaza on May 13 in partnership with 15 other student organizations at Rice, including Rice Students for Justice in Palestine, Rice Pride, the Hispanic Association for Cultural Enrichment at Rice and the Rice Muslim Student Association. RMA will direct donations towards American Near East Refugee Aid, a non-governmental organization that provides humanitarian aid and emergency relief in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan. A day after its launch, the campaign raised over $2,000 according to RMA’s Instagram.


Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.