About the Weldon Revitalization
In fall 2021, we’ll complete the construction of a key project for Western Libraries: a new two-storey Learning Commons on the main floor and mezzanine of Weldon.
It’s a transformation that began four years ago with the adoption of our Space Master Plan, followed by a generous pledge of $15 million from the university in 2018. We’ve seen several rounds of redesigns and new space proposals since then, all based on feedback from across campus. And now, the Learning Commons is being built to reflect your needs.
This new space increases the number and kinds of study seats available, so that students can connect to critical research and learning supports.
Weldon will have a Family Room for students to study alongside their young children and we’ll introduce a community space for small events hosted by Western Libraries and our partners.
The Learning Commons also includes a reading lounge for discovering and enjoying books, and on the ground floor, compact shelving allows for growth of on-site collections.
Due to the pandemic, it’s been a long time since many of you have visited Weldon and we’ve missed you.
When you return to Western this fall, our goal is to reveal a modernized library space that respects and accentuates Weldon’s Brutalist architectural legacy. In the meantime, you’re invited to follow the journey to a revitalized Weldon. Browse this site to learn more about our plans and check out updates as construction is underway.
I hope you’re as excited as we are for what’s to come!
Catherine Steeves, Vice-Provost and Chief Librarian
After a brief hiatus due to COVID-19, the Weldon Revitalization resumed in 2020.
Work on Weldon has moved to a construction phase, with staff space redevelopment anticipated in early 2021 to facilitate the Learning Commons construction in the spring.
The Weldon Revitalization Project expects to complete first-floor renovations in fall 2021.
Space Master Plan adopted
Western Libraries adopts its Space Master Plan that identifies and addresses the challenges of each library location, including Weldon, and outlines how to undertake proposed solutions in a phased, strategic approach.
Western University commits $15 million to launch the Weldon transformation as part of the Space Master Plan.
The Project Oversight Team develops an engagement strategy to meet with key stakeholders to discuss potential spaces, including a Learning Commons and Digital Scholarship Centre. The team also runs a survey for the Western community to validate information from the Space Master Plan.
The Project Oversight Team analyzes the results of the validation survey after receiving over 1,800 responses. The team continues to engage with key stakeholders through several small focus groups facilitated by Perkins+Will.
The goal of these focus groups is to gather input that informs the design and use of spaces in Weldon. These sessions center on the potential new Learning Commons, Graduate Commons and Digital Scholarship Centre, as well as staff spaces.
Perkins+Will use the information gathered from stakeholders to confirm and revise original concepts from the Space Master Plan.
The firm also works through technical and engineering reviews to inform design in the current infrastructure of Weldon and associated costs. Through this process, the Project Oversight Team refines cost estimates for elements of the renovations, and confirms priority projects and phasing.
Based on work started in the Design Development process, in fall 2019 the budget is approved for the construction of a new Learning Commons, staff space, the installation of compact shelving, critical infrastructure upgrades, and an environmental retrofit.
To further refine designs, Perkins+Will and the Project Oversight Team share concepts with key stakeholders through a pop-up session in the Weldon Library Atrium. The group incorporates attendees’ feedback into construction revisions, with a higher level of detail.
Fall 2020 and Winter 2021
After a brief hiatus due to COVID-19, the revitalization project resumes in the early part of 2020, as Facilities Management works with consultants to finalize specifications for infrastructure retrofitting at Weldon.
Construction documents are confirmed in the fall and put out for bid at the end of November.
Construction begins in early January 2021 with the redevelopment of the fifth floor staff space, a necessary project that enables the Learning Commons revitalization.
Staff Space Construction
Construction is in progress for the fifth floor staff space, to allow for staff to vacate the mezzanine that will be renovated as part of the new Learning Commons space.
Ground, Main, and Mezzanine Floor Construction
While construction wraps up on the fifth floor staff space, work is underway to renovate the ground, main, and mezzanine floors of Weldon for the Learning Commons and new library areas such as the Family Room and Community Room.
Space Master Plan
The Weldon Revitalization is one element of the Space Master Plan that guides the transformation of Western Libraries spaces and facilities for
the 21st century.
This multi-year project involves collections work and movement to prepare for renovations inside Weldon. Construction can also impact on-site access to the library.
Weldon’s renovations are guided by leadership from across Western and a variety of expertise, from architecture to facilities management to furnishings and interior design.