The main entrance to Wise Library on West Virginia Universitys downtown campus will be closed permanently beginning at 7 a.m. Monday (Jan. 10) so workers can begin dismantling a steam tunnel beneath the sidewalk, a project official said.

Library staff and patrons must now enter the building through a side entrance facing the Chemistry Research Building, said Ruth Nellis, coordinator of WVUs library construction projects. The book drop-off at the main entrance will be moved to an area beneath the Research Building overhang, opposite the new library entrance. The sidewalk in front of Wise Library will remain open for two-three more weeks.

“We wanted to have the entry changed prior to students getting back to campus,”Nellis said.”We wanted to have the site logistics the same throughout the spring semester rather than make changes in the middle of the semester.”

The steam tunnel demolition is required before workers can begin constructing a 124,000-square-foot addition to the library. The addition is part of a $33 million construction project that also includes renovations to the existing facility and consolidation of library facilities in Colson Hall and the Chemistry Research Building. The project is scheduled to be completed in fall 2002.