Ten Basic Guidelines
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  This article appears in volume 90 of the Law Library Journal at pages 423 to 445 (1998). This electronic version is provided by Drake University Law School.

Planning and Constructing Law School Buildings: Ten Basic Guidelines 1

© John D. Edwards 2, 1998
A law school building project presents an administrator with many unfamiliar challenges. Professor Edwards highlights some key considerations that may provide administrators, architects and contractors with insights into the process and help them avoid common pitfalls. He provides a top ten list of basic building guidelines with detailed explanations of the factors involved.

The experience of completing a 70,000 square foot law school project on schedule within a $8.5 million budget provided the impetus for this article. At various times in the process two thoughts often occurred, "I wish I had known that earlier," and "I am glad I knew that beforehand." The ten building project guidelines that I discuss are intended to place the reader in the latter position and help avoid problems others have experienced. The list not only highlights some of the factors an administrator should consider, it also may help architects and contractors better appreciate the administrator's perspective of the process.

The guidelines and my comments stem from my experience with a project in which the architect, contractor and owner worked together as a team to complete a building that included the law library as its most prominent feature. In resenting the owner's interests, I participated in every aspect of the building process from architect and contractor selection through schematic design, design development, construction, and dedication. Although each building project has special challenges depending on the construction process selected3 and circumstances unique to the institution, a review of the points here should make it easier to recognize areas which may need attention, especially for someone new to the construction process.

One piece of advice that cannot be over emphasized is the importance of retaining a common-sense perspective on the project's details. This means that proposals for what may be regarded as impressive architectural features should be weighed against the functional needs of users. Although the discussion of this guideline later highlights the consequences of failing to follow that tenet, an example here will help illustrate the rule's success. One architect proposed having the reserve room on the floor above the circulation desk, accessible only by a spiral staircase. Although the law library director was successful in insisting on a functional reserve room on the same floor, she keeps the plans in a readily available file to remember what might have been-and to show to visiting librarians who inquire about "barely avoided disasters." This architect had never designed a law school building or library so the director's role in ensuring that practical concerns were met was especially important.

The key administrator on many law school projects is the law library director. A large share of any expansion, renovation or new building may be devoted to library and technology space and the director's input can be essential to the success of the project. Law library directors also are very willing to share their experiences so others can learn from their mistakes as well as their successes. Included in the text and footnotes which follow are examples provided by directors and others familiar with the challenges that can arise during the building process. Schools which faced problems in design and construction are generally not identified except where the experience was widely reported and became a matter of public record.4 A common thread on many of these projects is the ability to maintain at least some sense of humor in the face of adversity.

Success in a building project requires attention to many areas. In each step of the process, plans must be examined in great detail to ensure that no key aspects are overlooked. An administrator overseeing a building or renovation project must be prepared to spend countless hours on these details and involve staff in reviewing them as well. Several books and articles on planning libraries cover the many specifics that must be addressed.5 While the in-depth discussions of the topic are best left to the acknowledged texts, such as Metcalf's Planning Academic and Research Library Buildings,6 this article begins with a short list of basic guidelines to consider in any building project, followed by comments and observations on each gleaned both from my personal experience and from that of fellow library builders.

Top Ten List of Construction Project Guidelines

  1. Hire a consultant.
  2. Acquire the necessary background materials and information.
  3. Seek input from various constituencies, including students, faculty, staff and other patrons.
  4. Reiterate the need for incorporating functional concerns with architectural goals, including maximum flexibility for future growth and technology.
  5. Review the budget frequently to ensure that essential items remain part of the project.
  6. Attend key meetings with design and construction personnel and promptly review the written minutes of those meetings.
  7. Develop a good working relationship with project personnel, including architects, key construction supervisors, and campus advisors.
  8. Conduct frequent walk-throughs during the construction process.
  9. Plan the move carefully, giving special attention to the personnel who will be moving library materials.
  10. Maintain records of all warranty items and provide prompt notification of concerns.

Hire a Consultant

An early consideration in any building project should be whether a consultant is needed to advise the administrator. Consultants can provide assistance in preliminary planning, architect and contractor selection, and other reviews throughout the process. Few administrators have the expertise to undertake a project without additional input and advice from someone with law school building experience. Although the budget may dictate the extent to which a consultant might be involved, keep in mind that some consultants can make themselves available for as little or much as the budget permits based on their hourly rate plus expenses.7

In addition to the expertise that a consultant brings, another advantage is the objective view that an "outsider" can provide to the process. An architect may want to incorporate a beautiful architectural feature, for example, while the administrator questions whether it will be functional in the law school setting. A consultant's review can offer objective input on whether the feature might be a problem so that it can be addressed early in the design process. Although examples of design problems are frequently reported, a personal favorite is the reflecting pool in the Phoenix Public Library. At least nine persons fell into the pool within the first few months after the library opened, and the most recent victim thought the water was a black floor leading to the elevator. Even temporary "theatre" ropes surrounding the pool did not help because patrons leaned against them and fell in.8

Hiring a consultant with experience in law school and law library facilities can be a boon to an administrator in many ways beyond just helping resolve differences of opinion, providing expertise, and identifying problems.9 A consultant also can offer a sense of perspective that sometimes is difficult to maintain as one becomes absorbed in the day-to-day requirements. However, an administrator needs to recognize that assistance will be needed for the project in addition to input from a consultant or someone with building expertise. A library director, for example, may assign some day-to-day library responsibilities to an associate so that greater attention may be given to the building project.

If the administrator cannot focus on the project and provide timely input, decisions will nevertheless be made, perhaps to the detriment of the project. Budgetary limitations during the project, for example, often result in "value engineering," a term used to describe the process of finding a less costly option to a more expensive one in the original plan. The pressures of the construction timetable often require quick decisions on these items. An administrator should participate in those discussions and respond promptly to ensure that the school's needs are being met as the process continues. Doing so may be difficult if the administrator continues to perform his or her normal duties and does not have the benefit of a consultant or other assistance. Some schools have hired full-time staff members to oversee the work for the duration of a library project, for example, using a title such as Librarian for Construction Coordination.10

Various sources can assist in identifying possible consultants. Law schools which have recently completed projects may be able to make recommendations.11 Administrators and library directors who have overseen a project not only can provide suggestions but also may be willing to consult. Posting a message to colleagues on a listserv may provide helpful input.12 Regional and national library association meetings often offer sessions on building planning in their programs which include consultants as speakers and provide materials with additional information.13 Program materials from workshops such as the ABA "Bricks and Bytes" conference can provide further resources. 14

Acquire the Necessary Background Materials and Information

Just as the contractor's workers must have the correct tools to perform their jobs, the administrator overseeing a building project also must have the necessary "tools" to succeed. Some of those basic tools include planning and building guidebooks, a dictionary of construction terms, an architectural ruler, and a tape measure.

Reviewing a planning and building guide is a good initial step. Metcalf's Planning Academic and Research Library Buildings15 is considered the standard work by many library directors. A good construction dictionary also should be available to help explain the common terms used by architects and contractors.16 Discussions of curtain walls, rebar, or expansion joints, for example, will proceed much more smoothly if the administrator understands the language (and does not have to interrupt meetings for explanations of basic terms). An architectural ruler (often a triangular scale) is an absolute necessity for reading the construction drawings and determining room sizes based on the scale of the blueprints.17 A good quality tape measure (of up to 25 feet) can be invaluable throughout the project for checking sizes of furniture, rooms, shelving, etc. in the current facility as well as in the new one. During the construction process it may be helpful to have a tape measure clipped to the notepad or clipboard used during the regular walk-throughs.18

Education may be an administrator's most important tool in a building project. Key articles and other works which focus on law school buildings19 and technology concerns in those facilities20 should be reviewed. An administrator also should study materials from other law school building projects. Library directors who have completed comparable projects often are willing to share program planning documents and other materials. Programs at national meetings such as the Association of American Law Schools and AALL and at regional meetings which focus on buildings can be very helpful, as are the ABA-sponsored "Brick and Bytes" conferences.21 Attending these programs and touring law school facilities can provide many insights into the process. Anyone who anticipates being involved in a building project in the near future should begin attending programs and visiting facilities when those opportunities are presented. Those visits, especially if one can meet with someone familiar with the facility, can be instructive not only as to what features should be emulated but also those which should be avoided.

Seek Input from Various Constituencies

Satisfaction with a new facility may depend to a great extent on how well the architect's design meets user needs. One way to determine those needs is to solicit input by surveying students, faculty and other patrons to see which features and services they would like to have in a new facility.22 If the library is frequently used by the bar, seeking input from attorneys not only can provide helpful input on their needs but can complement fund-raising activities to meet them. Survey information can help provide guidance in a number of areas, such as the mix of carrels and study tables that may be needed in the library or the number and location of photocopiers. Assessing survey data as the program planning document is prepared should help the final plan more accurately reflect patron needs. Patron feedback also may be helpful in other areas, such as selecting furniture. Some schools have chair contests in which vendors supply sample chairs for students and other patrons to test. Patrons vote for the chair that is preferred and that data helps in deciding which chairs to purchase.

Samples showing proposed color schemes and fabric choices should be displayed so that input can be provided, especially by the staff. The building committee can be very helpful in that review process. In selecting and placing furniture and wall coverings, the durability and ease of repair or replacement must be considered along with the timelessness of the item.23 Trendy items may look attractive when the building opens but can become dated in a few years.

New services and changes in access policies also may have an impact on building design. Students may indicate that they want ready access to food and drink, for example. A law library might be designed with a lounge conveniently available just outside or near the entrance so that users can satisfy their need for refreshment without bringing food or drink into the library.24

Incorporate Functional Concerns with Architectural Goals


A building project normally begins with the owner and architect hoping to achieve the same goals. These goals often include the completion of an attractive facility that meets the programmatic needs of the law school within the budget allowed. During the course of schematic design and design development, however, the zeal and creativity of the architect to create an outstanding facility may result in features that are at odds with the functional needs of the staff or users. The administrator's role is not to inhibit that creativity but rather to ensure that the final design meets the programmed needs as well as addresses the architect's aesthetic and functional concerns. An administrator involved in his or her first building project may be tempted to defer to the architect on some of these issues on the assumption that the architect has more expertise. One theory from librarians who have been involved in a construction effort, however, is that designing a law library is too important a project to be entrusted only to architects.25

On matters critical to the project or which could significantly impact users, the administrator should not acquiesce but seek additional counsel, such as from a consultant. As noted above in the example of patrons tumbling into a reflecting pool in the Phoenix Public Library,26 some design features should immediately cause an administrator to raise questions.27 Skylights, for example, are mentioned by some librarians as worrisome because they eventually may leak.28 The original design of one law school building included a stream running through the first floor of the library. That design was changed before construction, much to the relief of the librarian overseeing the project and her successor.29

Communicate with the Architect

Educating the architect to the needs of the law school is critical to the success of the project. If the architect understands the priorities reflected in the law school program document and stated in project meetings, the design may come closer to meeting those needs than if the architect is less attentive to those concerns. One architect, for example, was adamant in not wanting any signage or bulletin boards detracting from the aesthetics of his design at the library circulation desk. The librarian was able to convince him that signs and boards were essential and that withholding directional and other information from patrons so they would have to inquire at the circulation desk was not desirable. Another priority for many libraries is to have a single entry and exit point for security purposes. One law library was designed with a restroom which had access from inside the library as well as from the hallway outside the law library. This permitted patrons to bypass the security system by taking materials through the restroom and exiting the library.

Restrooms can become a significant issue if not addressed properly in the design process. Architects must comply with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and recognize gender differences in allocating space.30 Restrooms must be wheel chair accessible and sufficient in number to accommodate the expected usage.31 At one school some of the planned restrooms were too small for wheel chair access if stall doors were installed, which meant that the elimination of stalls provided no privacy for users. Another school faced a similar problem and installed rods and shower curtains to provide some privacy and still permit wheel chair access. Both of these problems should have been addressed early in the design process to provide adequate space for the disabled as well as needed privacy.

Avoid Design Errors

An administrator also can assist the architect in evaluating the "foreseeable consequences"32 of certain design features. Perhaps the building layout calls for locating the computer lab below a flat roof with parapet walls two feet above the roof line and the architect provides only one roof drain. Is it foreseeable that the single drain might become clogged during a heavy rain so that water could accumulate up to a two foot level and then crash through the ceiling to the computer lab below?33 Questions such as this should be raised and addressed early on, perhaps with the assistance of the consultant.

Beware of Open Atriums or Stairs

An apparent trend in a number of law school buildings is to place an open central staircase or large atrium in the library. Although many of these are quite attractive, the acoustics can cause problems for those wanting a quiet study environment. Unless adequate sound-absorbing features also are present in the design, voices and noise may travel far from their point of origin to disturb library patrons. Another problem with atriums is that they may eliminate what otherwise could be usable floor space that may be needed later. One library director who lost his bid to eliminate an atrium a decade ago is now out of space. This prominent law library has a reading room with a narrow patron area surrounding a large hole in the floor (the atrium) which interrupts the flow of traffic and denies access to much-needed floor space for readers and books. Another director summarizes her experiences by saying, "Architects love open atriums in libraries. They were a bad idea. They are a bad idea. They will always be a bad idea."34

Fear the Sounds of Silence

Providing an absolutely quiet building without any background noise, however, can be a mistake. 35 The HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) system in one law school library was designed (at considerable expense) to be so quiet that it was barely audible when operating. This building also incorporated an open staircase and an atrium which meant that without the blowing air from the HVAC system in the background, someone turning the pages of a book on one floor could be heard on other floors. Conversations could be heard throughout the building.36 The problem was reduced somewhat by attaching an electronic white sound system to the public address system which simulates the background noise an HVAC system normally provides.37 Spaces for equipment which generates noise and attracts patrons, such as copiers and phones, should be designed so that noise does not leave those areas. Acoustical concerns must be addressed early in the design process to provide the proper study environment.

Plan for Growth and Technological Change

The planning and design process should anticipate future growth and changes in technology.38 The typing rooms designed for buildings more than a decade ago soon gave way to computer labs which required additional wiring for modem and network connections. Today's planners may provide conduit to many locations so that wiring can easily be added later as the need arises.39 Projecting space needs for future growth, however, can be a challenge. Some law schools have had difficulty finding space for unanticipated developments, such as the creation of new law journals, addition of personnel, and technological enhancements. The creativity in finding needed space is perhaps best illustrated by the law school that converted a toilet for use as a LEXIS room.40

The debate continues on whether electronic access can replace books41 and how much library space is needed. Space planning should incorporate features that give maximum flexibility for the future. One technique in new construction, for example, is to build a basement and leave much of it unfinished until the space is needed (or funds are available).42 Providing an unfinished basement on a site which does not have excavation problems, such as water tables or solid rock, can often be done at a fraction of the cost for finished work.43 The availability of a basement can be especially important to the law library for future growth. Basement floors often are slab on grade, which means they can support a heavy floor load such as might be required for compact shelving,44 often a cost-effective system for book storage when floor space is limited. Another consideration in basement design is the inclusion of natural lighting, which can greatly enhance the attractiveness of the space to patrons.45

Provide Ample Lighting

Lighting throughout the building should be carefully reviewed as well, especially in the library. Patrons must not only be able to have sufficient lighting in work areas to read, they also must be able to find books in the stacks. One architect changed the orientation of shelving ranges by 90 degrees to accommodate additional units but failed to make any changes in the lighting plan. That resulted in the lighting being so dim on some ranges that call numbers could not be read without the aid of a flashlight.

Anticipate Future Needs

In a building which will be constructed with poured concrete floors and columns, it is especially important to anticipate that furniture, personnel and usage patterns may change. Conduit should be installed so that floor boxes are in place where future users may need access to power or data. Although duct tape may work to cover power or microphone wires at conferences or to fix almost any problem faced by Red Green,46 it is not an attractive option in law buildings. A more common sight in some libraries is the black wire cover, often running to a desk that has been moved. Having an empty floor box that is available when needed is preferable to trying to deal with the absence of one by using wire covers, trying to run flat wire under the carpet (if the floor is carpeted) or tearing up the concrete and floor covering to install the wire.47

Consider Functionality and Durability

Decisions concerning the attractiveness of a proposed feature must be balanced with a need for durability. An administrator should help make selections to ensure that the new appearance of the building lasts many years after opening. A few examples should prove illustrative. High traffic areas, such as those at the entrances or at the library circulation desk, may require durable floor coverings such as terrazzo. Carpet in those areas might show wear very quickly and require constant cleaning. Any surfaces with which users may come in contact should be durable and easy to maintain. Painted walls should be washable.48 Desks and other furniture in reception and circulation areas must be designed with materials that can withstand frequent contact with backpacks, briefcases, etc.49

The growing use of laptop computers has created the need to provide students with power and network connections in classrooms and at study locations throughout the library. As noted above, plans which include conduit to these locations greatly facilitate the installation of network connections, even if all access points are not activated until the need arises.50 Wiring changes also are easier when suspended ceilings are accessible for pulling wire. Drywall ceilings tend to make later changes more difficult and normally are not as sound-absorbing as suspended ceiling materials.

Review the Details

Attention to minor details in the plans can help improve the facility and make future changes easier to accommodate. Data closets should include multiple electrical outlets so that additional network devices can be added. Installing a phone in the data closet will facilitate the troubleshooting of network problems. For doors which are frequently opened, such as those in computer labs, a holdback feature on the latch will avoid the continual clacking as the door opens and closes. If the new building will be adjacent to or connected to an existing one, room numbers for the new building or addition should exceed the number range in the older building to avoid confusion.51 Photocopy rooms may need exhaust fans and separate thermostats.

Other aspects of the project may require attention to ensure that seemingly minor details are not overlooked. Will the chairs specified fit under the tables, carrels or desks that are planned?52 Are the library shelves the correct size? Library shelves are normally one inch shorter than the size description given by the manufacturer as the "nominal" depth.53 Librarians may want to see samples of some of the shelving and components, such as pull-out reference shelves, to ensure that the proposed product meets their needs.54 Have any of the designs or products proposed for use been associated with any "sick" buildings?55 Have all ADA concerns been addressed?56 Does every wall have an electrical outlet? Is the floor load capacity sufficient for expected uses?57

Review the Budget Frequently to Safeguard Essential Items

A key factor in the budget for the project is the method selected for design and construction. For many schools, the project must be done through a competitive bid process after the architectural design is completed.58 Other contract methods include construction management (CM), turnkey, design/build, fast track, negotiated contracts, and combinations of these models.59 Some schools may be able to select a contractor early in the design process to work as part of the project team. Under a construction management contract the design team members work to achieve the best product for the least cost.60 Others may utilize some form of the design/build process. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages.61 In a depressed economy or a very competitive market, bids might come in well under the estimated budget as companies need the work.62 In a thriving economy a team approach might help keep costs within the budget.
Keeping within the budget may be the most significant challenge facing anyone involved in a construction project. Although projects may begin with a contingency of about 10 percent, that amount usually is depleted during the course of construction as unanticipated expenses occur.63 Using the contingency is an accepted part of the construction process to accommodate the change orders that must be made to address problems as they arise.64 The contingency, however, may not be sufficient to cover all additional costs. Since most projects must be completed within a finite budget, a way to reduce costs often must be found. Value engineering is a common technique in which a less expensive option is substituted for a more costly one. Custom light fixtures, for example, might be replaced in the design by standard ones or custom wooden end panels for shelving might be deleted in favor of standard metal ones. The administrator may want to encourage the use of "standard" fixtures over custom or specially manufactured ones whenever possible. In addition to reducing costs, standard fixtures normally will be easier to repair or replace than custom ones.65 Early in the design process a reduction in the square footage of the building is another strategy for reducing costs.66

Staying within the budget often results in many compromises and trade-offs based on the priorities for the facility. This means that the administrator must have a clear understanding of what is essential to meet users' needs. On one project, for example, the recommendation was made to eliminate the unfinished basement to keep the project within budget. The administrator fought that proposal and instead reduced the furnishings and related budgets to compensate because he knew it was unlikely that the new building would be expanded in the foreseeable future. Furnishings and other items, however, could be replaced over time.67 As is often the case, that basement space was needed shortly after the building was completed.68 The budget should be reviewed as changes are made to ensure that key features remain in the project. If pressure builds to force the elimination of desired items, it may be possible to have some of those features bid as alternates and added if funds become available.69

Attend Key Meetings with Design and Construction Personnel

Attendance at the regular project coordination meetings is essential for the administrator.70 At these meetings the progress of the project is discussed along with problems and proposed changes. Many issues require immediate attention so as not to delay the completion date. Minutes of the meeting should be promptly reviewed to ensure that they reflect the solutions to which everyone agreed. If an administrator is not sent or fails to check the minutes, progress may reach the point that a decision which the administrator might have opposed becomes irreversible.71

The opportunity for input that these meetings provide can be invaluable in helping ensure that the final product meets the administrator's expectations. The administrator should be in the best position to know which features can be changed without detriment to users and which should remain as they are. An architect or contractor, for example, may not fully apciate the need for certain features in law school buildings, such as enclosed areas in the library for copiers and phones so that patrons are not disturbed by the noise surrounding their use.72

Develop a Good Working Relationship with Project Personnel

An administrator should make an effort to know the key personnel involved with the project and know what his or her role is in the process. Working well with the architects as well as those who direct the construction work on the project, such as the project manager and project superintendent, can be very beneficial. The administrator also needs to appreciate that the lines of communication may be very rigid.73 Direct contact with the contractor may be discouraged except when it is in response to a request from the architect.74 Although most questions and concerns must be addressed to the architect, other project personnel may be able to answer questions if the architect is unavailable.75 Developing a good rapport with those personnel should make it easier for them to raise questions and for the administrator to address concerns to them.

When a good working relationship has been developed, construction personnel may be more willing to identify concerns than to proceed in strict accordance with the building documents without raising questions. During construction, for example, an electrical contractor might notice that the plans for a room with two doors include only one light switch and point out that apparent omission. The need for a switch by the other door can be addressed quite easily if raised while the electrician is still adding conduit in those areas.76 If it is the administrator who notices that a minor item, such as a switch or electrical outlet, is missing at or before the framing stage,77 the electrical contractor may be able to accommodate a request for the addition without difficulty.

Good interactions between the administrator and project personnel can greatly facilitate the construction process. By the same token, however, the opposite result can occur if an administrator is perceived as arrogant or unreasonable. In those circumstances, requests from the administrator may receive attention only after they have been processed formally, which could delay and make the change more difficult to implement.

Conduct Frequent Walk-throughs During the Construction Process

Although the architect's models and blueprints give a sense of what the building will be, the true scope of the structure is most evident as the framing begins and the building begins to take shape. Touring the building at that stage presents a better picture of spatial relationships, sizes of room and areas, and how the pieces fit together. It also is a time when changes can be made more easily than in later stages of construction. While the architect may visit the site often with the contractor, the administrator should be sure to regularly view what is happening on the site as well. This may require visits in addition to those periodically scheduled for the project team.

Frequent visits can help ensure that the expectations created by the architect are being fulfilled by the contractor's work. If they are not, it may be possible to make some adjustments so that they do. As the work progresses to the drywall and finish stages, however, the likelihood of making changes decreases markedly because of the costs involved. Enlarging a room by moving a wall when the "wall" is a set of lines on the floor or a few metal studs may not be difficult. Once that wall has electrical wiring and drywall, the prospect of making a change becomes more remote.

Periodic walk-throughs, especially at critical construction stages, can help identify problems at a time when it is cost-effective to remedy them. It also makes the administrator more accessible to the construction personnel so that they might be more likely to bring issues forward and provide informal updates on the project's progress. A walk-through for the staff after walls are in place may relieve some anxiety about the move to the new facility and help them plan for their new work areas.

Plan the Move Carefully

Although books and articles outline the procedures to follow in planning a move,78 an administrator must first ensure that adequate funds are in the budget79 to hire competent moving personnel.80 Moving furniture, equipment and other materials into a new law school building normally is not a difficult task. Moving a law library collection, however, requires much more preparation.81 Space planning must ensure that the collection being moved will fit into the space available in the new location. Books must be shelved in correct order and computers and related equipment handled with great care.

Schools normally use University personnel, professional movers, or professional library movers, often depending on the budget available.82 Some may have professionals move library and computer equipment with University personnel moving furniture and related items or vice-versa.83 In the case of library materials, the personnel involved must understand the value of the materials being moved and the need to place them in correct order. Although a few libraries have publicized the use of a "book brigade" to pass books from the old library to a new one,84 the passing of books from person to person may be of value primarily for public relations purposes.85

The moving experience at one school may help illustrate some of the problems that can occur. Bids were sought for the library move with a guaranteed maximum cost and the contract was awarded to the low bidder, who had previous experience in moving libraries. Although some of the lead personnel on the project did have moving experience, labor for the project was hired locally with some hourly workers apparently hired "off the street." During the move, several carts of books (on separate occasions) were dumped in mud puddles when workers let the carts sail down ramps unattended. Moving went much slower than anticipated and was exacerbated by an underestimation of the time the project would take. Faced with increased costs, the moving company then attempted to circumvent the guaranteed maximum cost by claiming additional work was being required. The company would not compensate for the books that were damaged beyond the per pound amount specified in the ICC regulations.86 At sixty cents per pound the amount available was only a fraction of the replacement cost. Some books damaged beyond repair were also out-of-print.

At another school the budget failed to include funds to move the library. The director was assured by the university facilities office that assistance in moving the library would be provided. That school's solution was to hire a moving crew of two former heroin addicts from a half-way house. The librarian reported that the process required considerably more involvement of the library staff than would have been needed if professional library movers had been employed.87

Maintain Warranty Records and Make Claims Promptly

Most contractors agree to make repairs for up to a year after the construction is completed.88 One of the final steps before the building is occupied is to complete a punch-list89 to ensure that any deficiencies are corrected. Other items the contractor should correct may be discovered during the first few months of occupancy. Some items may be small, such as a crack in drywall which could be filled or replaced with an expansion joint to vent future cracking, while others may be more significant, such as a leaking roof. During that first year the staff should be asked to report any problems so that they can be corrected. Some administrators find it helpful to maintain a running list of concerns to ensure that problems are not missed. After the building has been occupied for about ten months, the administrator should consider a thorough walk-through to see if any new items need attention or if previously raised concerns have not been addressed. Every effort should be made to have problems corrected during the warranty period.

The administrator also should monitor the warranty periods on significant furniture and equipment purchases. If the building's chairs have a three-year warranty, for example, an inspection of those chairs should be made no later than 30 months after delivery to ensure that no problems exist.90 An administrator should not hesitate to contact the manufacturer when problems arise. The manufacturer wants satisfied customers who will be references on subsequent projects and is normally anxious to find solutions to problems which may arise. Notifying the manufacturer as soon as a problem is apparent is very important, especially since most warranties are of limited duration.

During the settling-in and shakedown period the administrator should be persistent in seeing that problems are corrected.91 In addition to seeking input from staff, the administrator should be sure that building users are able to bring forward their concerns. A prominently placed suggestion box may be invaluable during the first months that a new building is occupied.


This list of suggestions for construction projects should help an administrator prepare for some of the challenges that may occur during the process. Anyone who becomes involved in such a project needs to appreciate that the time demands may be substantial. Coping with those demands may be less stressful if advance planning includes hiring a consultant, delegating some day-to-day responsibilities, requesting release time if the administrator also teaches, or taking other steps to ensure that efforts can be focused on the project. Although most administrators can readily handle multiple responsibilities, some workload adjustments should facilitate the attention to details necessary to make the project a success.

The significance of the suggestion to acquire the necessary background materials became readily apparent in compiling information for this article. As the footnote references indicate, many of the problems described here were addressed in Metcalf's Planning Academic and Research Library Buildings. Metcalf's appendices include a list of items that might be overlooked.92 An administrator who reviews and consults Metcalf or a comparable text before and during the project should be able to avoid many of the problems that have been highlighted. If the administrator is successful in addressing most of the challenges that arise during the process, few law school users will ever be aware of those difficulties but will instead focus on the many benefits of the new facility.93


Law Library Student Needs Survey

Your input in designing the new law library would be apciated. Please indicate the priority you would give the proposed features in a new library using the following five categories:

    a) essential     b) highly desirable     c) desirable     d) unnecessary     e) don't know

____ 1. Additional shelf space
____ 2. Increased space for computer-assisted legal research terminals
____ 3. Additional seating space
____ 4. Carrels for most full-time law students
____ 5. Carrels wired to accommodate computers, including lap tops
____ 6. More computers for student use
____ 7. Audio/visual room
____ 8. Conference rooms (for 15-30 users)
____ 9. Seminar rooms (for 8-12 users)
____ 10. Study rooms (for 2-4 users)
____ 11. Photocopying center (to leave materials for copying)
____ 12. Photocopy machines on each floor
____ 13. Restrooms on each floor
____ 14. Showers in at least one pair of restrooms
____ 15. Drinking fountains on each floor
____ 16. Student lounge
____ 17. Space for student organizations, such as Moot Court, Law Review, etc.
____ 18. Reading room (with current awareness materials)
____ 19. Reference area for encyclopedias, form books, etc.
____ 20. Reserve room (with seating space to use materials & a copier)
____ 21. Space for special areas, such as Constitutional Law or Agricultural Law
____ 22. Lecture room wired for computer demonstrations
____ 23. Areas with sofas and other comfortable seating
____ 24. Short-term parking near the library (for 10-15 minutes)
____ 25. Courtesy phones
____ 26. Message board
____ 27. Artwork (perhaps a rotating collection from Fine Arts)
____ 28. Change machine

What two or three features would you most like to see in the new building?

What two or three features in the current facility would you most like to see changed?

Additional comments/suggestions:



1. © John D. Edwards, 1998.
2. Director of the Law Library and Professor of Law, Drake University Law Library, Des Moines, Iowa.
3. The various methods of contracting are described under guideline five, including competitive bid, construction management (CM), turnkey, design/build, fast track, negotiated contracts, and combinations of these models. See KEYES D. METCALF, PLANNING ACADEMIC AND RESEARCH LIBRARY BUILDINGS 490 (Philip D. Leighton & David C. Weber eds., 2d ed. 1986).
4. The author prefers not to add any distress to colleagues at schools which may have experienced problems. Anonymity also relieves the author of the burden of indicating which problems mentioned in the article may have arisen in his own project. Some readers, however, may require more than the Dave Barry declaration, "I am not making this up." DAVE BARRY, DAVE BARRY IS NOT MAKING THIS UP (1994). For them, the author will identify, upon request, which shortcomings arose on his project and provide information on other projects to the extent that sources do not object to dissemination. If a footnote reference cites a source for the information, the reader should not necessarily assume that the problem arose at the source's current institution.
5. See, e.g., PLANNING LIBRARY BUILDINGS: A SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY (Anders C. Dahlgren & Erla P. Heyns comps., 4th ed. 1995).
6. METCALF, supra note 1.
7. See e-mail from Alfred J. Coco, Professor Emeritus, University of Denver College of Law (May 7, 1998) (on file with author). Professor Coco served as a library director for nearly three decades and has been a consultant on numerous law school building projects.
8. The library was planning to add steel barriers and a pool alarm for $8,000 to solve the problem. See New Library Makes a Splash, 26 AM. LIBR. 749 (1995).
9. See METCALF, supra note 1, at 70-80.
10. The Law School Library of Columbia University advertised for such a librarian to fill a two-year temporary position. See Career Hotline, 26 AM. ASS'N L. LIBR. NEWSL. 294 (1995).
11. Information on schools involved in building projects is available from James P. White, the Consultant on Legal Education of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. Telephone interview with Arthur R. Gaudio, Deputy Consultant, ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar (Feb. 17, 1998).
12. Listserv readers can reply quickly with invaluable feedback. A number of problems outlined in this paper came from the thread following a question posed on the academic law library directors listserv, LAWLIBDIR-L@lawlib.wuacc.edu. See John Edwards, Building Horror Stories or Tips (posted Mar. 5, 1998) <http://lawlibdns.wuacc.edu/lawlibdir-l/. Law school deans have access to their own listserv: LAWDEANS-L@lawlib.wuacc.edu. For more information on the listservs and archives maintained by Washburn University School of Law, contact Mark Folmsbee at zzfolm@wuacc.edu or visit http://lawlib.wuacc.edu/washlaw/listserv.html.
13. Program materials from recent annual meetings of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) can be especially helpful. The 1995 annual meeting in Pittsburgh included a session on "Getting What You Want: Working Effectively with Design and Construction Professionals." See Edgar J. Bellefontaine, Panel Discussion and Bibliography for Library Design, in AM. ASS'n OF LAW LIBRARIES, EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM HANDOUT MATERIALS 219, 220-24 (1995) and Dennis J. Stone, Getting the Most from Your Designer: Design Development to Dedication, in EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM HANDOUT MATERIALS , supra at 225, 226-28. The 1997 AALL annual meeting in Baltimore included a session on "When Cyberspace meets Physical Space: Library Design in the Age of Technology." See Joan L. Axelroth, Setting the Scene: What's Happening to Our Libraries, in AM. ASS'N OF LAW LIBRARIES, EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM HANDOUT MATERIALS 277 (1997) and Bruce Skiles Danzer, Fault Lines at the Edge, in EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM HANDOUT MATERIALS , supra at 279. Several programs at the annual meeting of the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries (MAALL), for example, were devoted to designing a new library. See Annual Meeting Highlights, MAALL MARKINGS, Dec. 1996, at 4, 5.
14. Bricks and Bytes: A National Conference on Planning, Constructing, and Retrofitting Law School Facilities to Support New Technologies was held March 7-8, 1997 in St. Louis. The conference was sponsored by the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and the Washington University School of Law. The first Bricks and Books conference was held in 1989 at Notre Dame with Bricks II being held three years later at Ohio State to focus on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The next conference is planned for spring 2000. Materials from the most recent conference are available from the ABA Service Center at 1-800-285-2221 by requesting publication 5290090, LAW SCHOOL FACILITIES REFERENCE BOOK (Kurt Snyder ed., 1997). Telephone interview with Arthur R. Gaudio, supra note 9.
15. METCALF, supra note 1.
16. The glossary included in Metcalf's work can be of assistance initially until a more detailed dictionary is available. Id. at 575-96. A number of construction dictionaries are available and can normally be found under the subject heading of building-dictionaries or construction industry-dictionaries. See, e.g., DICTIONARY OF ARCHITECTURE AND CONSTRUCTION (Cyril M. Harris ed., 2d ed. 1993); BNI BUILDING NEWS CONSTRUCTION DICTIONARY: ILLUSTRATED (1997).
17. The usual architectural scales are 1/16" = 1', 1/8" = 1' or 1/4" = 1'. See METCALF, supra note 1, at 483.
18. Regular visits during construction can be especially useful in catching problems before they become more difficult or expensive to correct. For example, one library director thought the door frame to a handicapped restroom seemed too narrow. He measured it and found that the wrong frame had been installed. That type of error can be easily corrected during framing before drywall is installed.
19. Articles from the library design symposium published in the Law Library Journal in 1987 outline key planning considerations. See Stephen G. Margeton, Introduction, 79 L. LIBR. J. 485 (1987); George S. Grossman, Programming for the New Library: An Overview, 79 L. LIBR. J. 489 (1987); Kenneth Rohlfing, An Architect's Perspective, 79 L. LIBR. J. 499 (1987); George S. Grossman, Housing Books, 79 L. LIBR. J. 521 (1987); Anita K. Head, Remodeling and Expanding Space: Library Services during the Construction Period, 79 L. LIBR. J. 535 (1987).
20. See, e.g., Julius J. Marke, Survival of Law Books in the Virtual Library, N.Y.L.J, Sept. 19, 1995, at 5; Tom Fisher, Impact of Computer Technology of Library Expansions, 9 LIBR. ADMIN & MGMT. 31 (1995).
21. See supra note 12.
22. See infra Appendix for a sample survey form.
23. New carrels in the Harvard Law School Library, for example, blend with the historical character of Langdell Hall while providing power, data, and security anchors for laptops. See Facilities Showcase: New Construction . . . and Renovation, AM. LIBR., Apr. 1998, at 66, 70.
24. Although meeting the needs of smokers might have been a concern at one time, the trend toward smoke-free environments makes it less of a concern. Including an outside covered patio or area near the lounge and entrance, however, could serve multiple purposes, including a place for smoking.
25. Credit for this principle often is given to George S. Grossman, Director of the Law Library at the University of California-Davis, who has served as a consultant on many library building projects. The remark, however, should be placed in the context of an exchange with well-known architect Robert A.M. Stern, who was working on a project on which Professor Grossman was serving as a consultant. Stern commented that the design of libraries is too important to be left to librarians. Professor Grossman said that he agreed and felt the same way about leaving the design of any building to architects. Architects and clients must listen to each other. E-mail from George S. Grossman, Director of the Law Library, University of California-Davis (Mar. 13, 1998) (on file with author).
26. See supra note 6 and accompanying text.
27. A railing which is just large enough for a child's head might be another feature to avoid. According to the Associated ss, a two-year old's head became stuck in a library railing and was freed only after firefighters used a hydraulic sader. See Not Using His Head, THE DES MOINES REGISTER, March 22, 1997, at 3A.
28. See METCALF, supra note 1, at 570.
29. See e-mail from Roberta Studwell, Associate Dean of Library and Information Services, Thomas M. Cooley Law School (Apr. 9, 1998) (on file with author).
30. "Potty parity" is required in many public facilities. Some jurisdictions require at least the same number of toilets for women as for men while others require more for women. The ratio in Washington State, for example, is 4-to-1. See, e.g., Potty Parity, THE LADIES' HOME J., Nov. 1997, at 203.
31. Failure to provide adequate restroom facilities, especially in a new building, can be embarrassing. The $1 billion Getty Museum in Los Angeles opened recently with no restrooms in the North or South Pavilions and long lines at the small set of women's restrooms in the West Pavilion. The lead for the Associated ss story was, "It's art in loo of bathrooms." See Posh Museum Has Pictures, Lacks Potties, THE DES MOINES REGISTER, March 17, 1998, at 10A.
32. For a sampling of cases involving negligence claims against architects and contractors, see JUSTIN SWEET, LEGAL ASPECTS OF ARCHITECTURE, ENGINEERING AND THE CONSTRUCTION PROCESS 257-59 (5th ed. 1994).
33. For more details on the plastic bag blowing onto the drain and causing this disaster, see Membership News, MAALL MARKINGS, Dec. 1996, at 10. Parapet designs normally include scuppers which permit water to run out if drains or down spouts are clogged so as to vent roof damage. See METCALF, supra note 1, at 591.
34. E-mail from Nancy Carol Carter, Legal Research Center Director, University of San Diego (Mar. 5, 1998) (on file with author).
35. See METCALF, supra note 1, at 121.
36. The opposite problem occurs when a building has a noisy system or one which does not provide a comfortable library environment. See, e.g., Jeannette Woodward, The Tale of the Terribly High-Tech Library Building, 26 AM. LIBR. 308 (1995).
37. This situation was frustrating for the library director who had raised acoustical concerns early in the design process. Architects discounted his concerns and assured him that noise would not be a problem, and if it was, it could be easily solved. Adding to the frustration was the clear indication from Metcalf about the concern, "However, a library can be too quiet. When this happens, every turning page or footstep can be heard by others. . . . To avoid this circumstance, some level of background or ambient sound is necessary and desirable. Probably the best form of background sound is the gentle woosh of air entering the space through the duct system. A system that is exceptionally quiet should be avoided." METCALF, supra note 1, at 121. After the building was completed and the noise problem arose as the director feared, the proposal to permanently solve the problem by installing sound-absorbing panels produced estimates exceeding $100,000.
38. For an overview of some of the technology issues facing libraries generally, see RICHARD J. BAZILLION & CONNIE BRAUN, ACADEMIC LIBRARIES AS HIGH-TECH GATEWAYS: A GUIDE TO DESIGN AND SPACE DECISIONS (1995); WALT CRAWFORD & MICHAEL GORMAN, FUTURE LIBRARIES: DREAMS, MADNESS AND REALITY (1995); and BOOKS, BRICKS AND BYTES: LIBRARIES IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY (Stephen R. Graudard & Paul LeClerc eds., 1998). For some predictions on the future of legal information, see Robert Berring, Chaos, Cyberspace and Tradition: Legal Information Transmogrified, 12 BERKELEY TECH. L.J. 189 (1997); Robert C. Berring, Thoughts on the Future: A Steroid-Enhanced Editorial, LEGAL REFERENCE SERVICES Q., Summer-Fall 1996, at 1.
39. Pulling wire through conduit already in place normally is not nearly as expensive as retrofitting. The aesthetics of multiple wires hanging in rooms converted for computer use also may provide support for installation of conduit as new facilitates are designed. Some planners, however, may gamble on the prospect of wireless networks reducing the need for extensive wiring in the future.
40. The description of that conversion and the images it created almost always produced smiles or laughter when told by Professor Susan Csaky, who oversaw that transformation in the old law building, Tate Hall, at the University of Missouri-Columbia. E-mail from Susan D. Csaky, Director Emeritus of the Law Library, University of Missouri-Columbia (Dec. 23, 1997) (on file with author). Professor Csaky retired as law library director in 1993.
41. See, e.g., Marke, supra note 18; Joe Stephens, It's Not Just Technology: Computers Must Share the Library of the Future with-Gasp!-Books, LEGAL TIMES, Mar. 2, 1998, at S33; Joan Moumbleaux, Building a Virtual Library; You Can Customize the Web to Focus its Strengths as a Research Tool, LEGAL TIMES, Sept. 22, 1997, at S45; Sabrina I. Pacifici, Virtual Library: Myth and Reality, N.J.L.J., Jan. 27, 1997, at S3; Eli M. Noam, Will Books Become the Dumb Medium, EDUCOM REV., Mar./Apr. 1998, at 18.
42. At the University of Michigan Law Library, for example, a large underground area was excavated to provide future expansion space with 5,000 square feet of undeveloped space on each of the three levels. See Rohlfing, supra note 17, at 508.
43. On some projects, the supporting walls need only be extended a few feet lower than in the original plans to accommodate a basement. On the University of Michigan Law Library project, the bonus space was bid as an alternate. "[E]ven though the bid came in slightly over budget, the cost per square foot was so low that additional funding was authorized. In 1985, four years after opening, the entire space on one level was developed for use." Id.
44. Floor support for compact shelving must be considered, especially in designing the basement. One library director planned to install compact shelving on the library's lower level only to discover that the building was constructed with a crawl space and the floor would not support compact shelving.
45. Natural lighting also may make the area more attractive to potential donors, as will a change in the name to "lower level" or a designation that has more appeal than "basement." For example, the University of Michigan Law Library addition was built below grade with the use of a lightwell to provide natural lighting to all the underground floors. See Rohlfing, supra note 17, at 503-04.
46. The Red Green Show airs on the Public Broadcasting Service. From the mythical Possum Lodge, Red Green undertakes various handyman projects using duct tape as the central symbol of postmodern life. See Howard Schneider, In the Pink With Red Green; Canadian Comedian Gives PBS a Big Boost, WASH. POST, Mar. 8, 1997, at C3.
47. Having the conduit and floor boxes in place when the concrete is poured normally is much less expensive than cutting out the concrete and installing the wire later unless there are no safety or aesthetic concerns in leaving wire exposed.
48. One architect specified flat paint in most of the building because of the appearance he wished to create. Unfortunately, the flat paint used was not washable or scrubbable, which meant that much of the building needed repainting within a couple of years of opening. An eggshell finish was used in repainting, which provided the flat appearance but with more durability.
49. One library circulation desk was built with beautiful mahogany that looked stunning on the day the building opened. Within a few weeks, however, the desk was filled with gouges and scratches from normal use by library patrons.
50. Some libraries are providing power and data connections to almost every carrel and table location where students work. One library which experienced budget cuts during the construction process left the conduit to those locations and then installed the wire and completed the network connections in a subsequent budget year when funds became available. If funds are not available to install the wire during construction, however, it may be advantageous to have pull lines placed in the conduit to facilitate wire installation later. Absent pull lines the installers must fish lines through the conduit and hope to connect from the data closet to the jack, which may be difficult if the conduit was inadvertently blocked or damaged during construction or if blueprints showing the path of the conduit are inaccurate or unavailable.
51. If the room numbers on the first floor of the old building are from 100 to 150, the new building or addition numbers could begin with 151. Using this system should make it much easier for anyone coming to the law school to find the correct room. For additional numbering issues, see METCALF, supra note 1, at 513-14.
52. As basic as this may seem, it is not unusual to find that only slight measurement errors can cause problems. One recently completed law school courtroom includes expensive wooden arm chairs which will not fit under the built-in table tops. Planners need to check specifications for carrels and tables to see if their design includes a supporting piece near the front edge that might vent an arm chair from fitting under the desk.
53. To the manufacturer, a 10 inch shelf provides 10 inches of space if measured from the centerline of the shelving unit although the shelf itself is only 9 inches deep. See METCALF, supra note 1, at 136.
54. The pull-out reference shelf proposed by one manufacturer, for example, was not anchored to the support shelf and fell off when patrons used it. The original pull-out also would knock books off the back side of the shelving when pushed in. The wire book supports from that same manufacturer also were insufficient to hold heavy law books in place.
55. See, e.g., Officials Mull Options for Sick Library Building, AM. LIBR, Feb. 1998, at 19. Planners also should be sure that the structural design is stable enough that the building will not vibrate to the point that users become seasick. Although all buildings move, some newer designs use less steel and fewer permanent walls to allow more flexibility, which may lead to excessive vibrations. The perceptible vibration of a computer monitor, especially when it may not be in sync with chair movement from floor vibrations, may cause those at keyboards to feel seasick. See Thomas R. O'Donnell, They Sure Hate to Niggle, But Their Building Jiggles, THE DES MOINES REGISTER, May 9, 1998, at 1A, 4A.
57. In addition to complying with building code requirements on floor loads, planners should ensure that library floors are strong enough to carry a live load of up to 150 pounds per square foot. For compact shelving up to 300 pounds per square foot may be required, which may add about ten percent to the construction costs while doubling the potential storage capacity. See METCALF, supra note 1, at 327. Heavier floor loads should provide greater flexibility in allocating space as needs change. Finding a new location for a large microform collection, for example, may be difficult if few areas of the building will support a concentration of heavy cabinets.
58. See METCALF, supra note 1, at 490.
60. See METCALF, supra note 1, at 490.
61. See TWOMEY, supra note 57, at 1-13, 33-50 (1989).
62. For example, the low bid for the University of Iowa Law School was 15 percent under the budget, which permitted the finishing of an additional 12,000 square feet of space. See Rohlfing, supra note 17, at 510.
63. The reserve or contingency may be as high as 12.5 percent during preliminary planning and drop to as little as 2.5 percent after the contract is awarded. The usual figure is 10 percent after design development, 7.5 percent after quantity survey estimates, and perhaps 5 percent after the award of the contract. See METCALF, supra note 1, at 501.
64. A change order is a request issued to the contractor to institute a modification in the original plans. For example, additional or more powerful booster pumps may be needed because of unanticipated water pressure problems. See METCALF, supra note 1, at 500.
65. This principle of preferring standard items extends beyond just ensuring that light fixtures will take standard bulbs and can be repaired easily. If the architect insists on a custom color for library shelving, for example, the administrator must recognize that if additional shelves are needed later or if replacements are needed they normally cannot be quickly shipped from the factory. Additional shelves with that custom color would have to be specially manufactured, which normally would preclude a prompt delivery and which would likely be more expensive than a stock color.
66. For example, assume that a 70,000 square foot building is being planned with costs estimated at $100 per square foot. If a cut of $100,000 must be made, the size of the project could be reduced by 1,000 square feet to 69,000. Movie buffs will note that even the set of the Titanic was reduced to 90% of the original liner's size. See Bernard Weinraub, As 'Titanic' Hits No. 1, Perils Lurk In Its Future, N.Y. TIMES, Dec. 22, 1997, at E1.
67. On this particular project, the estimated savings from eliminating the basement was approximately $100,000. By reusing some existing furniture in offices and other areas not in the public eye, much of that savings was realized. Existing library shelving was erected in the reserve room with new end panels. Historic tables from the old building were refinished and used in conference rooms in the new building. These and other cost-saving measures were not apparent to most users and made it possible to preserve the unfinished basement for future growth.
68. In a subsequent budget year, funds were allocated to finish one-half of that basement to provide offices for a new law journal and student groups as well as shelving for library archives. The unfinished portion became a much coveted storage area, not only within the law school, but from other departments in the University because of the easy access to the loading dock and elevator and central campus location.
69. The 12,000 square feet of expansion space for the University of Iowa Law Library was bid as an alternate and then finished because the low bid was 15 percent below the budget. See Rohlfing, supra note 17, at 510.
70. For a list of the key considerations in attending those meetings, see RAYMOND M. HOLT, PLANNING LIBRARY BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES: FROM CONCEPT TO COMPLETION 75-81 (1989).
71. On one project, for example, floor plates for electrical and data lines were eliminated in some office suites to save money on the assumption that wall access would be sufficient. A change in personnel after the building was completed resulted in a change in desk layouts. Power and data connections to those desks then came through a black wire cover running across the carpet. The decision to delete the floor plates was made during a meeting the administrator was unable to attend.
72. An administrator must carefully choose his or her battles as budgetary constraints force compromises and adjustments in the building plans. For example, most new buildings have windows that cannot be opened, which provides better HVAC operation, security, etc. One administrator insisted on having two windows in the library work room which could be opened, much to the chagrin of the architect who thought the additional cost was unnecessary and could have been better spent elsewhere. Within four months after the building was occupied, however, the University lost its source of the water needed for air conditioning. Being able to open those windows in stifling July heat provided much relief for the staff until air conditioning could be restored.
73. See METCALF, supra note 1, at 481. Responsibilities are normally outlined by contract, which often is a version of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Standard Form of Agreements. For a sample of the AIA forms, see TWOMEY, supra note 57, at 205.
74. See METCALF, supra note 1, at 481.
75. Selecting an architectural firm from outside the city or state where the building will be constructed would be an example of when other project personnel might provide assistance in helping answer questions or formulate concerns so they could be addressed on the architect's next visit.
76. This is an example of a fairly minor issue that might be overlooked and not discovered until later when correcting the problem would be more difficult. Anyone who has entered a darkened room through one door to find that the only light switch is located by the other door knows what a frustration such a "minor" oversight can become.
77. Framing is the point at which studs are being placed and before drywall is attached.
78. See, e.g., THOMAS M. STEELE ET AL., A LAW LIBRARY MOVE: PLANNING, PREPARATION, AND EXECUTION (1994) (includes a bibliography of articles on moving and library design issues). For a brief overview from a law firm perspective, see Kenneth Berkowitz, One Firm's Moving Experience, LEGAL TIMES, May 4, 1998, at 30.
79. Although moving costs are likely to vary considerably depending on locale and the complexity of the move, using 20 cents per book may provide a very rough figure for initial budget purposes until bids can be taken. Upper east coast costs are higher, with 25 cents per book being a better figure in those areas. The costs for moving furniture and other items should be added to the estimate if those services are needed. Telephone interview with Jack L. Hallett, president of Hallett Movers (Apr. 17, 1998). Competitive bids in some regions may result in costs that fall well within these estimates. In Des Moines, for example, the bids ranged from 10 to 15 cents per book for a move just five years ago.
80. A list of library movers is available from various sources, including Steele's A Law Library Move and the annual architectural supplement published by Library Journal with its December issue. See STEELE, supra note 76, at 72; 1998 Sourcebook: The Reference for Library Products and Services, LIBR. J., Dec. 1997 Supp., at S29-S31, available in Library Journal 1998 Sourcebook (visited Apr. 27, 1998) www.ljdigital.com/sourcebook. Checking with other libraries who have moved recently, however, is essential. Posting a message on a listserv is perhaps the easiest way to find that information. See, e.g., Betsy McKenzie, Moving Summary (posted Apr. 8, 1998) http://lawlibdns.wuacc.edu/lawlibdir. See also supra note 10 and accompanying text.
81. See, e.g., STEELE, supra note 76, at 1-43.
82. See METCALF, supra note 1, at 515; STEELE, supra note 76, at 27-30.
83. Other personnel have been used as well. One school used fraternity members to move books and other materials from a nearby storage location to the new library. The importance of training and close supervision of non-library personnel became very evident early in the process. A couple of the movers overestimated their strength while underestimating the weight of a fully-loaded microfiche cabinet. The weight of the cabinet smashed the handles when it was dropped on its face. Fortunately, no one was injured.
84. See, e.g., Library is Now on the Other Side of the Tracks, AM. LIBR., Jan. 1998, at 26-27.
85. See, e.g., Passing the Book, THE DES MOINES REGISTER, March 17, 1993, at M1.
86. 49 C.F.R. ¤¤ 1056.11-.12 (1993).
87. E-mail from Nancy Carol Carter, Legal Research Center Director, University of San Diego (Apr. 9, 1998) (on file with author).
88. See METCALF, supra note 1, at 518-20, 524.
89. A punch-list enumerates items which require the contractor's attention to remedy. On some projects, the contractor, architect and owner will conduct a walk-through together with the goal of developing a comhensive list of what needs to be done. See HOLT, supra note 68, at 101-02.
90. One administrator found that after a couple of years of heavy use the arms on many chairs had become loose. The manufacturer sent a technician to reglue the arms and replace the attaching bolts with ones that were slightly longer. Longer bolts were installed not only on the chairs with loose arms but on all the chairs so problems would not develop thereafter.
91. See METCALF, supra note 1, at 518-20.
92. Id. at 567-71.
93. In the author's case, for example, the success of the new facility has been recognized with five design awards. But see Will Manley, Post-Building Depression Syndrome: A Minnie-Splendored Thing, 25 AM. LIBR. 919 (1994).

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