MSE Library Modernization Project
A complete modernization of the approximately 182,000 square foot Milton S. Eisenhower Library. The university’s principal research library, MSE Library, opened in 1964 and has had only minor renovations over the past 56 years. It supports more than 26,000 students and 7,500 faculty across nine divisions.
The design process for the modernization is just beginning; Pfeiffer Partners, a Perkins Eastman Studio, was selected to lead the design team for the project, and Clark Construction Group will be the construction manager. The scope of the project includes building systems upgrades, infrastructure improvements, and interior architectural upgrades. The modernization will reinvent the building into one that is accessible, flexible, and welcoming to all who seek space for research and study. In order to best support such scholarly activity for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty, the building will be modernized to provide a variety of new work spaces for individuals and groups, as well as seminars and teaching, with continued opportunities for working with print collections, research consultation, educational and instructional support, and data and GIS services.
|Construction Begins||Spring 2023|
- Amy Mercurio, associate vice president, capital projects
- Lee Coyle, senior director
- Ryan Jordan Pfarr, JHU architect
- Cornelius Weaver, senior project manager
- “Input sought for reimagined Milton S. Eisenhower Library” HUB article
- Milton S. Eisenhower Library website
- MSE Library Engagement Event – Session 1
- MSE Library Engagement Event – Session 2
- MSE Library Engagement Event – Session 3
- MSE Library Engagement Event – Session 4
We anticipate the total project cost to be $100 million. The project will generate many jobs, with a commitment through HopkinsLocal to ensure that a minimum of 20% is contracted to minority/women-owned business enterprises with a minimum of 13% contracted to local business enterprises.
The MSE Library Modernization project is moving along as planned through the design phase. COVID has affected all our lives and has changed the way we are working on this project. All of the design meetings have been happening virtually, and when in-person site visits are required, they are conducted with the latest safety guidelines and protocols in place. Once construction begins, the project will continue to maintain strict COVID protocols including mandatory mask wearing, monitoring workers for signs of COVID or possible exposure, and regular cleaning of high touch areas.
The library is being designed to attract all undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff. We want it to become the preferred location for serious academic pursuit for all in the Johns Hopkins community. While scholarly pursuits are at the forefront of the design, we are planning for and anticipate that the public will have access to the library as we will continue to encourage and benefit from interaction between Johns Hopkins and the local community.
The scope of the project includes building systems upgrades, infrastructure improvements and interior architectural upgrades. The modernization will reinvent the building into one that is accessible, flexible, and welcoming to all who seek space for research and study. In order to best support such scholarly activity for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty, the building will be renovated to provide a variety of new work spaces for individuals and groups, as well as seminars and teaching, with continued opportunities for working with print collections, research consultation, educational and instructional support, and data and GIS services.
The programming phase of the design exercise is still underway. As such, the precise features of the modernized MSE Library that will best achieve our goals have not been decided. The final programming and scope will be the result of an exhaustive process of data gathering from students and faculty alike, which is still underway. This data gathering includes surveys, focus groups, one-on-one and group interviews, student and faculty engagement sessions, and current best practices in library design and implementation.
Inclusion and equal access for all are top priorities for the renovated MSE facility. Since the building was completed in 1964, prior to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), the existing building falls short of accessibility compliance. A focus group on accessibility has been organized and a survey was conducted to garner input on existing impediments. The renovated library design will meet all requirements prescribed by the ADA. As we progress, solutions to achieve this goal will be developed and incorporated in the final design.
The library project will be within the existing structure.
The project team is investigating alternative spaces on the Homewood campus to provide essential library services and a very small on-site collection. At this point there is no final plan.
The books will be relocated to the Libraries Services Center (LSC) during construction. There will be increased deliveries from LSC during construction to ensure quick access to the items that are needed. Because it takes a long time to move the number of books the library currently holds, the Libraries have been slowly moving lesser used items offsite since April 2021, MSE Big Move. The plan is to keep volumes needed by disciplines that are heavily dependent on the on-site collection to remain on-site until the second bay at LSC is completed and MSE Library is closer to the construction phase. Other library services will be available during construction but we haven’t determined how best to do that pending a decision on the overall phasing plan.