Archive >> General Project FAQ, April 2004

General Project FAQ

1. What is the Linderman Library Renovation Project?

2. Why is Lehigh renovating Linderman Library?

3. What is the project size and timetable?

4. Who are the architects?

5. How will I get updates on the project?

6. What steps were involved in getting to this point?

7. Who is involved in working on the project?

8. What are the milestone events?

9. What does this mean for individuals who use the collections in Linderman?

1. What is the Linderman Library Renovation Project?

Over the course of the next several years, the university will be engaged in updating and renovating the existing space in Linderman Library and making it a laboratory for the humanities (a showcase for humanities programs and collections) and an intellectual center for the campus at large. As part of the renovation and transformation, the following will be included:

  • New seminar classrooms
  • Group study spaces for collaborative learning
  • Humanities commons and a café space
  • New computer technology throughout
  • New climate control systems
  • Enhanced building access and navigation

2. Why is Lehigh renovating Linderman Library?

Linderman Library was built in 1878 and added on to in 1929 and since that time there have been no significant modifications to the building. It is one of Lehigh's most beautiful buildings located right in the center of campus. This project will both restore and rejuvenate the building and make it easier to use and more suited for how today's students study and learn.

3. What is the project size and timetable?

The Linderman project is around $17 million. Currently, we are doing active fundraising and are in the early stages of the design process. This phase will take approximately one year. The earliest that any construction could begin would be summer 2005. Construction would last approximately 18 months with Jan. 2007 being the earliest date for the renovated building to be in service.

4. Who are the architects?

After a competitive and comprehensive review process, the university has retained MGA Partners of Philadelphia as the architects for the project. They have considerable experience working in higher education and doing historic structures.

5. How will I get updates on the project?

A Web site for the Linderman project ( is under development and relevant material and regular updates will be posted here. There is already a link to a PDF file of the Linderman project brochure on the site. Other communications will be issued as significant milestones occur.

6. What steps were involved in getting to this point?

The university has long wanted to renovate this significant Lehigh building. Active planning for the current renovation project began about 4 years ago with several steps including a concept or visioning process followed by the development of a program plan for what was to go into the library. Architects Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott of Boston acted as consultant for these steps. An engineering and structural feasibility study was then done with several cost estimates prepared. As a result of that report, modifications were made to the program plan. In Spring 2003, architects were interviewed and a recommendation made; MGA Partners of Philadelphia was hired and has been given the go ahead to start the design phase.

7. Who is involved in working on the project?

The early work on the project involved LTS directors and team leaders and faculty as well as a task force drawn from these groups who came up with the initial program planning document. There were also meetings with deans, CAS faculty, the Student Senate, and the Graduate Student Council. Subsequently, a small planning group representing LTS management, faculty, and facilities staff has been working on refining the program plans. Participating in this group are: Gordon Bearn, Sue Cady, Tony Corallo, Jean Farrington, Bruce Taggart, and Tony Viscardi.

8. What are the milestone events?

Certainly, retaining the architects and beginning the design phase are significant events in the life of the project. The next milestones will be the completion of construction documents and then beginning the actual construction work.

9. What does this mean for individuals who use the collections in Linderman?

It is quite likely that Linderman may need to be closed for public access for the duration of the actual construction work. Active planning is now underway to determine how best to accommodate the staff that would need to be re-located and to provide access to the materials in the collection. See the Linderman Transition FAQ for answers to more questions relating to interim library services while Linderman Library is closed.

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