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Third Floor Renovation Completes, More Study Space Opens at Marston Science Library

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The Marston Science Library is undergoing a three-floor makeover, one of which opened last week.

After more than two months of construction, Marston’s third floor opened Sept. 12, said Patrick Leakes, senior associate dean at the University of Florida Libraries. Leakes said his fourth and fifth floors of the library will continue to remain closed for renovations. They can be reopened in almost two months.

“You need a little bit of short-term pain in order to get long-term gains,” says Reakes.

Jeel Patel, a second-year health student, started attending the Marston Science Library daily last year, but with the floors closed, he missed his routine. Since then, she has preferred to study at her home or at Library West.

“It’s a place with a lot of memories and a nostalgic place,” said the 19-year-old. She “can’t catch up with friends, see other people like she used to, and socialize.”

Patel mainly studied on the third floor, she said.

With more than 900 seats on the first and second floors, the library is now operating at about 90 percent capacity, Reakes said. The 3rd floor is reopened after renovation, securing an additional 320 seats.

Reakes said the third floor was closed so contractors could install outlets in the ground on the fourth floor.

Contractors drilled holes in the fourth and fifth floors to pull in new wires and install power outlets, Marston Science Library chair Vallee Minson wrote in an email.

The renovations on the fourth and fifth floors are mostly adding new furniture and powering the furniture, Reakes said. According to Minson, the furniture will provide more opportunities for individual study.

They also removed part of the walls of the new first-floor Makery, which houses 3D printers, sewing machines and other equipment.The goal, Minson said, is to eventually install a new entrance.

Marston staff hope to reopen the 4th and 1st floor Makery in mid-to-late October and the 5th floor in early November.

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The Makery door is currently scheduled to be the last item to arrive in mid-November, but Minson said the delay won’t affect access to floors or spaces.

Minson said the only delay to date was obtaining a permit for the renovation, which occurred in the second week of August. This permit allowed Marston staff to add electrical infrastructure to the building.

Shreya Gadikota, a 19-year-old UF health science sophomore, said she prefers Marston to other libraries. Because it allows for group and collaborative learning and more interaction with friends.

“I’m not a big fan of silence,” Gadikota said. “I like being able to talk loudly with the white noise of people in the background.”

The University of Florida has several alternative libraries available for students, but Reakes said he understands the frustration of not being able to study where you want. However, he added that five other libraries on campus are open for students to study instead.

Many University of Florida students live with roommates or other places where they can’t study, writes Minson. Minson said.

“We wanted the work to be completed before the fall semester began, which was not possible, but the renovation will create an even better space,” Minson said.

The project, estimated to cost $1.6 million, is on track so far, Reakes said.

No date has been set yet, but Marston will eventually host a grand opening and celebrate with students the renovation of the fourth and fifth floors.

Both Patel and Gadikota said they plan to visit Marston more often once the renovations are complete.

“I miss that cozy space,” Gadikota said. “Now it’s like breaking a habit. I’m looking forward to getting back to it.”

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Anushka Dakshit

Anushka is a third year student majoring in journalism and women’s studies. She has previously appeared in Local Wolves Magazine and is the Editorial Director of Rowdy Magazine. In her free time, she listens to old Bollywood music and whenever she feels like she doesn’t know what she’s doing, she likes to learn about other writers’ ‘processes’ and get carried away. I like it (which is common).