A steel structure on the northwest side of Robarts Library. MICHAEL PHOON/THE VARSITY

Construction has been underway for the Robarts Common, the expansion of Robarts Library that is expected to add 1,200 study spots to one of the largest buildings on campus.

The five-storey project aims to add more study spaces to the library, which will raise the number of spots in Robarts to 6,000. In addition, as part of the Robarts renewal initiative, the entire building will have wireless printing.  

Though the Robarts Common will be accessible from floors two to five inside Robarts, it will differ aesthetically from the main building, as its design features a glass exterior allowing in more natural light.

A fundraising campaign for the project attracted donations from more than 1,000 individual donors.

Construction on the project began in the summer of 2017. A steel structure is currently being constructed on the north side of the library, where work will continue for a month before a similar structure is built on the south side. The library has not undergone any major projects since 1973, when construction on the building ended.

The expansion is projected to be completed this fall. The new space is planned to officially open in 2020, but a more specific date has not been set yet.

As most construction will take place outside of Robarts, no study spaces will close and there will be minimal disruption during construction.

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