As renovations come to a close and students settle in to their new favorite study spots, PennWest Edinboro’s Baron-Forness Library has reprised its role as the center of campus activity, discovery and collaboration.

Students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community are invited to celebrate the grand reopening of the library with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 27. Speakers will include Dr. James Fisher, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; Fawn Petrosky, vice president for Finance; and Garrett Hannah, Edinboro Student Government Association president.

“The conceptualization, planning and design of the project centered around a goal of creating a student-focused space complete with all the amenities today’s students need to succeed in their studies,” said PennWest University Library Director Anthony McMullen. “Our aim was a blend of both private and collaborative study space and a centralized location for convenient access to essential academic services such as the writing and career centers alongside traditional library resources such as research assistance and book stacks.”

Sonia Yost, Edinboro’s student representative on the PennWest Council of Trustees, will cut the ceremonial ribbon, followed by refreshments and walking tours of the building.

In addition to a brand-new entrance, expanded seating options and upgraded elevators, HVAC, electrical, plumbing and fire suppression systems, students now have access to 28 group study rooms equipped with screen-sharing technologies to better facilitate collaborative learning.

“I’m really excited about the study rooms,” said Chelsea Weimer, a senior Communication Sciences and Disorders major. “It’s been great to meet up with friends for group work and to have a quiet place to study.”

Upgrades to the seven-story library also include modern furnishings, increased natural light, lockers for students who commute, seminar space and a 3,000-square-foot art gallery.

The $15 million project, which was funded and administered by the Pennsylvania Department of General Services, involved the first wide-scale improvements to the 102,000-square-foot facility since it opened in 1976.

Baron-Forness Library is named after Justina J. Baron and Mildred M. Forness, two women who dedicated their lives to serving Edinboro students as librarians.