University Library Upgrades Make a “Splash” with Students

New washrooms have opened on the second floor of Leddy Library, a designated quiet space, however some students think they are missing the key concept of noise reduction – doors.

Travis Fauteux
The Lance – News Editor

As renovations take place in the University library, students are becoming slightly concerned with noise factors associated – particularly with the washrooms.

New washrooms are being added to the main building of the University of Windsor’s Leddy Library and existing ones are being renovated, but some students are beginning to question their design.

The first and fourth floors will see new public washrooms, those currently on the second and third floors are being renovated and new universal washrooms are being added on each floor to make them handicap accessible. However, the public washrooms on each floor are lacking entrance doors, which means that sounds can escape into the library where students study.  Two of the four floors are designated “quiet spaces” and are greatly affected by the door-less design.

Michael Regier, a first-year education student, said the new design could make students feel uncomfortable and distract them.

“I think [having] bathrooms without doors is a bad choice,” said Regier.  “As someone who uses washrooms on a regular basis, I find that a bit alarming to think that someone just walking by [could hear].  It would be distracting, too.”

Joan Dalton, associate dean of the library, said she has not heard any complaints about the new design, which is intended to make the washrooms safer.

“The doors being open the way they are is by design and it’s meant to offer an element of safety so that there is no opportunity for anyone to sort of be closed in or inaccessible,” said Dalton.  “I think the design is a good one.”

Dalton said that precautions were taken to reduce noise; for example, paper towel dispensers were chosen in place of air driers.

“We tried to mitigate whatever noise problems there might be with the open-door design,” said Dalton.  “I think we’ve reached a good balance.”

As part of the renovations, the roof of the main building also underwent extensive repairs over the summer and a new circulation desk was built on the main floor.

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