Fort Hays State University Embarks on a $28 Million Renovation of Forsyth Library: A Step Towards Modernization and Enhanced Learning Experience

By Trish Svoboda

On April 2nd, Fort Hays State University marked the beginning of the renovation project for Forsyth Library with a groundbreaking ceremony. A sizable audience congregated to witness the unveiling of designs for the library’s ambitious nearly $28 million makeover.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, FHSU President Dr. Tisa Mason, Dean of Library Services Ginger Williams, and FHSU Foundation President and CEO Jason Williby all spoke about how the forthcoming updates will reinforce the university’s dedication to maintaining the library as a pivotal academic and cultural center.

Williby said the significance of updating Forsyth Library for future generations of FHSU students, noting that while it has long been the heart of Fort Hays State, it’s now time to modernize its amenities. Beyond addressing issues like a leaking roof, weathered stairs, and faulty HVAC systems, the renovated library will provide a serene environment with lasting structural integrity.

Williams said that the renovation project at FHSU is not just about construction but also an investment in the future of learning. He highlighted how student usage of libraries has evolved since the building’s inception in 1967, surpassing its current capabilities. The renovation aims to not only enhance the library’s appearance but also breathe new life into the space, transforming it into a conducive environment for focused study and fostering innovation and collaboration. Student-driven enhancements such as additional group and individual study rooms, books available on each floor, increased natural light, improved Wi-Fi, and the addition of a cafe will establish the library as a go-to destination for students seeking a peaceful retreat from the bustling campus life.

The library’s extensive transformation involves collaboration with various entities, including FHSU’s Honors College, Institute for New Media Studies, MakerSpace, and Writing Center, all of which will be situated within the renovated Forsyth Library, ensuring easy accessibility for students. Furthermore, the renovation project will enable FHSU to safeguard its history by providing a new climate-controlled space dedicated to preserving university archival materials. Williams concluded by expressing gratitude to Senator Moran for his pivotal role in securing $19 million in federal grant funding, which has been instrumental in bringing the project to fruition.

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