The two-phase renovation of the Lucy Lester Willet Memorial Library on the Wesleyan campus provided students a better place for learning, collaborating, and studying. During the first phase, one of the main focuses of the project was building a new apparatus case and air handler, which was the first air handler replacement since the 1960s when the building was built. One of the major challenges with replacing the unit was maintaining 46% humidity in the building so the books and archive pieces did not mold. Some of these items are over 200 years old and, if damaged, would need to be hand-cleaned. The amount of space available to replace the unit was also a challenge. The aging unit was successfully replaced over the course of one weekend to ensure the humidity stayed constant. The second phase of the project involved the removal and repair of several walls on the second floor of the libary, asbestos abatement, installation of a sprinkler system and a new fire alarm system.

The building remained in use throughout the renovation. Ruth Knox, past President, said one of the “coolest” parts of the project was taking the waffle type concrete structure and turning it into a retro centerpiece for the renovation. The team also transformed the masonry-enclosed stairwell into an open stairwell with aluminum handrails and glass siding.

Location: Macon, Georgia
Owner: Wesleyan College
Architect: Dunwody Beeland Architects