The University committed $15 million to kick-start The D.B. Weldon Library (Weldon) transformation as part of The Space Master Plan.
Perkins + Will Architects were chosen to assist in the design and development of revitalized spaces within Weldon. A Project Steering Team (PST) was developed that includes representatives from Western Libraries, Facilities Management, and Perkins+Will.
The PST developed an engagement strategy for meeting with key stakeholders to discuss potential project spaces, including a Learning Commons and Digital Scholarship Lab. The PST also ran a survey for the Western community to validate the information that was presented in the Space Master Plan.
January - February 2019
The PST analyzed the results of the survey, which received over 1,800 responses, and continued to engage with key stakeholders through several small focus groups facilitated by Perkins+Will.
The goal of these sessions was to solicit input to inform the design and development of user spaces within Weldon. The focus of these specific sessions was on the potential new Learning Commons, Graduate Commons, and Digital Scholarship Centre, as well as staff spaces.
February - April 2019
Perkins + Will and the Project Oversight Team completed four stakeholder focus group consultation sessions. The Digital Scholarship Centre and library staff space consultations were held in late-February and, due to a University weather closure, the Learning Commons and Graduate Commons sessions were held in early March.
To inform library staff space consultation, managers worked with their teams to complete a Staff Spaces Questionnaire, the results of which were sent on to Perkins + Will prior to the focus group. The questionnaire asked managers and staff who may be located in Weldon to consider how they work and what's important to them in terms of common spaces, specialized furniture, equipment, and amenities.
Each stakeholder consultation was well attended with participants engaged in focused programmatic discussions, and creativity and vision exercises. These sessions achieved the goal of providing the architects with valuable stakeholder input. Many ideas were surfaced and the upcoming challenge will be to focus and define the spaces.
May - June 2019
Perkins + Will will use the information gathered to validate or revise the original concepts presented in the Space Master Plan and develop concepts and diagrams for Weldon.
Running in parallel to program definition efforts are technical and engineering reviews to help determine design implications on current infrastructure as well as associated costs. This will be followed by a more refined cost estimate of various elements of the project, and confirmation of priority projects and phasing.
All of this work will be captured in a report from Perkins + Will which we anticipate receiving sometime in June. This milestone will mark the completion of the first phase of the project.
Phase two of the project includes the iterative process of schematic design development and runs over an approximate 18-week period. We are still working to confirm the overall project plan and timeframe, which depends on the program definition and designs at the end of phase one. The schematic designs must be completed before construction plans can be developed and before the process and timeline for tender and construction can be defined.