Feasibility Study


Why is the Olin and Uris Libraries renovation feasibility and program study needed?

Cornell University Library continues to be the intellectual center of the Cornell community; however, the way it accomplishes this role has changed significantly since Olin Library was constructed and Uris Library was redesigned in 1961. We need to take a fresh look at how the buildings support both users and library staff. The aging buildings present pressing needs such as more efficient heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems; improved accessibility; and space allocation consistent with the role and operations of a 21st century library.

What are the goals of the study?

The study will develop a vision for spaces in Olin and Uris libraries in the context of other unit libraries on campus, and in concert with Cornell University Library’s strategic priorities. The goal of the feasibility and program study is to produce a choice of high-level conceptual designs for Olin and Uris by the end of 2019.

When will renovations start?

There are several major steps needed between the completion of the feasibility and program study in December 2019 and any eventual renovation. The conceptual designs created by the study will assist in fundraising toward future building renovation projects. Once funding is available, detailed designs will be developed with stakeholder input. No construction is likely to begin before 2022, at the earliest.

Who is conducting the study?

The consultant/architect team from brightspot strategy llc will be guided by an executive committee and a core group. Stakeholder participation is built into the process. (See the organizational chart.)

Who are the stakeholders and how can they get involved?

Olin and Uris libraries are very heavily used by the Cornell community. Students, faculty, and library staff are the primary stakeholders for the study. The process will include consultations and design exercises with stakeholders, with a presentation of the conceptual options in January 2020. Along with other stakeholders, all staff will be able to participate in open meetings and design sessions. (See the workplan schedule.)

Will anything change in these spaces in the meantime?

While large-scale changes will have to wait for the building renovations, space projects of a more limited scope will continue to happen. For example, following the Olin first floor planning task force’s recommendations, some changes to the first floor public space are under consideration, and the Cocktail Lounge is receiving a facelift during Spring 2018.

Whom can I contact for additional questions?

Please email our facilities planning manager, Jon Ladley:


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