How DU Students are Dealing with the Penrose Renovations

Ongoing construction of DU’s Academic Commons at Penrose Library.

The remodeling of the University of Denver’s (DU) soon to be Academic Commons at Penrose Library has been a buzz-worthy topic amongst DU students for the past year.  Many DU students have mixed feelings about not having a traditional library on campus.

The remodeling of DU’s library has been in progress for over a year.  Penrose has been relocated to an alternate location in the Driscoll Student Center.

The new Academic Commons at Penrose Library are scheduled to open by the beginning of March, spring quarter of this year.

According to Karlie Rosier, a Junior DU student who works at the Driscoll Penrose, “The new library is going to be much more inviting than it was previously.  It is also going to be energy efficient!” She excitedly explained.

The Academic Commons are working to have increased seating, more quiet study areas, more study rooms, elevators, enhanced technology, new multimedia software support service, a larger café with patio seating, academic events space, more power outlets, more natural lighting, and energy efficient lighting and mechanical systems.

Karlie explained that the building process should be finished by this coming January.  However, moving all the resources into the new library will be a very time consuming process.

So this poses the question:  What are DU student’s reactions to all these renovations?

Not having a normal sized library for collegiate level students is an issue that many DU student and their parents are having a hard time getting used to.

Even with the designated study spaces Penrose has provided it’s students, there’s something to say about having an actual library.

When DU sophomore, Danielle Guyette was deciding which school to attend two years ago, she said, “ It was actually a big turn off to the school…not having a library my first two years of college was a huge deciding factor.”

Danielle explained that her parents did not think it was a good choice academically for her to attend a school where she would only have a library for half of her college career.

So far it has not posed any serious problems for her academically.  She said she has tried to study in Driscoll a few times last year, but it seemed to be more of a social gathering rather than a study space.

Danielle was also not aware of all the alternate study spaces that are available on campus.  When she looked at the list online of the specific places she could study to cater to her needs, she seemed very surprised and relieved.

Many students are not aware of the alternate study spacesavailable to them.  However, DU has created a helpful resource online that allows students to choose the exact study environment that best suits them, and gives them the best location for them to study.

Some of the many resources available for students at Penrose about the library and alternate study spaces.

While some students prefer to study on campus, many like to reside in off campus locations to do their studying.

Caroline Schnell, a DU Junior, said that when she wants to study she often likes to get off campus for new scenery.  She said that being off campus often helped her gain more focus than when she’s studying on campus.

Many of the off campus study spots that DU students go to are coffee shops around Denver, or even Denver public libraries.

Caroline stated, “My freshman year I got into the routine of studying at a coffee shop on Pearl St., called Stella’s.  Within the past year, I’ve had to change my staple study spot a few times because once people hear about it they all start going.  Now when I go to Stella’s I can hardly ever find a seat.”

Stella’s, Pajama Bakery, Wash-Perk, Starbucks, Kaladi Bros, Wash Park, and O-park are just a few of the places where students have found to be a good study space.

“It’s all about personal preference,” Caroline stated.  “Everyone has a different way they like to study, no one likes the exact same thing.”

DU student’s thoughts about the renovations on the new Academic Commons at Penrose seem to vary on all spectrums.

The only thing they do agree on is not being a fan of trying to get library books transferred to them.

Danielle and Caroline both sided equally about how they think that ordering books from the library can be a huge hassle at times.

Danielle explained that,” It is kind of an annoyance getting books transferred to Penrose for you.  I had to wait all day to receive a book that I requested, and I wasn’t planning on it to take so long.  I had to write a paper that day and ended up having to pull an all-nighter because I didn’t get the book until 7:00 PM.”

Luckily, this problem won’t be a problem for long, seeing as there is only a short six months until the Academic Commons at Penrose Library are finally finished.

For now, it seems as though everyone is figuring out their own studying tactics to keep them busy until the opening day is finally here.


2 Responses to How DU Students are Dealing with the Penrose Renovations

  • Anna Gauldin
    Anna Gauldin says:

    This is a great issue to cover! Whenever my friends come to visit DU, they are always shocked that we don’t have a library to utilize. It’s definitely a pretty big inconvenience at times. I know at one point it was supposed to open by the start of winter quarter this year, so it’s sad to hear it actually won’t open until March. I like the links you chose to include; I didn’t know about many of those study spaces, and I’m glad I do now! A very informative article.

  • Caitlin Hendee
    Caitlin Hendee says:

    I thought Marney did a great job getting several different students’ perspectives on the renovations. She also did a decent job with her writing, it flowed smoothly and was easy to read.

    Regarding content, I think it is really difficult for college students not to have a library, but it’s all just a matter of timing. The fact is DU wanted to renovate the library for future students, and we just happened to attend the University during the time when construction was taking place.

    It’s great that students are finding other places to study, such as coffee shops and Denver public libraries. It shows they are dedicated and are willing to think outside the box on what works for them. It is what it is, and Marney’s correct in her statement that it won’t last long…the Academic Commons will be ready soon and it will hopefully make studying that much better and easier for students.

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