GROVE CITY – The Henry Buhl Library at Grove City College is in the beginning stages of a $9 million renovation project that will provide a cafe plus more services and study spaces.

“I’m very anxious to hear the students’ reactions when they come back in the fall,” said Barbra Munnell, library director.

This will be the first major renovation to the library, which was built in 1954.

Munnell has worked at the library for 27 years, as director since 2013. She said she loves working there and is very excited about the makeover, which began May 17.

She and the rest of the library staff are temporarily working out of the Staley Hall of Arts and Letters, and they expect to be able to keep services going as much as possible during construction, which is expected to wrap up the summer of 2022.

Work will continue when the fall semester starts Aug. 23, but students will be able to use some areas, such as the second floor stacks and the new reference room and quiet study room – which adds a new level to the library, Munnell said.

“We’ll just have to work through some noise,” said Munnell, who helped pack up several thousands of books and journals.

The renovation will include a patio and cafe, along with an adjacent classroom that can be used for instruction on using the library’s services and databases.

Munnell had the opportunity to provide input, and said she’s looking forward to offering students a more comfortable and accessible facility.

The new library will include quiet spaces, along with areas where students can collaborate without disrupting others.

Technological upgrades are in the works, and the color scheme will feature mainly blue and gray with some red and brown. The furniture on the main level will be comfortable and flexible, meaning the pieces and nearby power sources can be moved to fit students’ needs.

“We don’t really have anything like that on campus right now,” Munnell said.

The Writing Center, which was added 10 years ago, will be on the ground floor with the Academic Resource Center and the registrar’s office.

The library is named for a former college trustee and the namesake of the Buhl Foundation, which contributed a third of the library’s original $750,000 construction cost.

The Gothic-style edifice, with limestone and sandstone, is similar to Crawford Hall and Harbison Chapel.

The library was the last building to be completed on the original campus plan — drawn up by the famed landscape architectural firm Olmsted Brothers, designers of Central Park in New York City.

The Pew Charitable Trust gave the college a $2.5 million grant for the library, though most of the project’s funding comes from donations.

FOR MORE information about the project or how to make a donation, visit

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