Rod Library Modernization

The FY 2018 request is $11.3 million from the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund for modernization of the Rod Library. This is the first year of a 3-year project request totally $45.4 million.

The Rod Library renovation project is needed because the building’s mechanical systems and utilities are past their life span, appropriate climate control and security are not available for the preservation of valuable archival and museum collections, and the building’s layout and furnishings do not meet the learning and technology needs of today’s students.

University libraries are becoming technology-enriched with information accessed from a variety of sources and managed for students' needs. The interior would be reconfigured to transform the library into a modern campus hub, including a collaborative learning commons, modifications to collections space, improved study spaces and improved layout of the interior for ease of use and improved wayfinding. The project would bring in learning-process partners to complement the library’s services. The library’s unique archives and museum artifacts would be highlighted, offering UNI students the chance to perform original research.

The project will replace the old, outdated mechanical equipment providing for energy efficiencies, improved comfort, and allowing for zoning of spaces through the distribution system. The plumbing systems have surpassed their life expectancies, do not meet minimum Americans with Disabilities Act standards, and have leaking pipes in some locations. The electrical power distribution system is inadequate for the growing needs of technology-driven collaborative spaces. Upgrades to the life safety systems through the replacement of the fire alarm system and the addition of a fire sprinkler system is needed.

The Rod Library, with more than 236,000 gross square feet, was constructed in three phases, with the original building constructed in 1965, followed with an addition in 1973 and a fourth floor expansion in 1996.