Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Renovation Begins to Create Schwartz Special Collections and Global Digital Complex

On Monday, February 16, 2009, renovation began in Bracken Library to construct The Helen B. and Martin D. Schwartz Special Collections and Global Digital Complex. The newly designed space will be located in Bracken’s southwest corner on the first floor, a space of about 2,450 square feet.

“The Schwartz Digital Complex is envisioned as a high technology collaboratorium for students and faculty. There is currently no other learning space like this on the Ball State campus,” said Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries. “Its completion will bring tremendous new capabilities to the University Libraries for offering new and exciting services in support of teaching, learning, and research using emerging and mature media.”

The facility will connect students and faculty to the diverse special collections and digital resources of the University Libraries and will provide access to signature digital collections globally. This digital complex will serve Ball State University as an innovative, collaborative, flexible, and interactive learning and teaching environment, utilizing the latest technology for fostering an undergraduate research culture.

For the next 10 weeks, we will be saying, “Pardon our dust” as contractor Fredericks, Inc. of Pendleton, Indiana, transforms the space, formerly a computer lab, into a digital learning complex. The work includes demolition of existing walls, new flooring, wall assemblies, framing, glass/solid polymer fabrications, carpentry, painting, mechanical, and electrical work.

Funds to renovate the space were made possible through a significant gift to the University Libraries from retired Muncie businessman and philanthropist Mr. Martin D. Schwartz in memory of his late wife, Helen B. Schwartz.

Mr. Schwartz also donated his extensive personal and business papers to the Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections. These documents are a rich resource for students and faculty conducting research in the areas of business, local history, and philanthropic studies.

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