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Keystone Project of the Year

Olin Library Wins Keystone Project of the Year Award

View of Whispers Cafe St. Louis, November 2005 . . .

The renovation of the John M. Olin Library has won the Keystone Project of the Year Award in the category of interior build-out project. The Keystone Awards, presented by the Associated General Contractors to top St. Louis area construction projects, were chosen this year from 24 finalists in 8 categories.

Associate Dean of Administration Virginia Toliver represented Washington University Libraries at the awards ceremony, which was held the evening of Thursday, November 3, 2005 at the Renaissance Grand Hotel in downtown St. Louis. She was accompanied by Josh Holden, McCarthy Building Companies' project manager for the renovation. Toliver coordinated the renovation effort and served as the Libraries' liaison to McCarthy during the three-year renovation.

The award was announced in the Friday, November 4, 2005 issue of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on page 4 of the Business section and in the November issue of St. Louis Commerce Magazine.

Judges said, "Challenges included tackling a tough schedule, managing the logistics of moving every department as well as building around the University's most-treasured collections-while keeping the library open and operational."

Renovation of Olin Library-the main library in the Washington University Libraries system-began May 2001 and ended May 2004, accomplishing the goal of expanding the library and transforming the more than 40-year-old building into a state-of-the-art library for the 21st century while remaining open to library patrons the entire time.

Olin Library is now more than ever a focal point for the University community, attracting students, faculty, and other users with much improved physical spaces, more diverse and comfortable seating, expanded wired and wireless network access, a new technology center (the Arc), the new Whispers Café, and many other new features. On the average day, some 3,000 individuals enter Olin Library, one of the most-visited buildings on campus. This figure does not count those persons who use the café.

For pictures of and information about the renovation process, go to:

Olin Library's renovation has won other awards, including a St. Louis Design Honor Award in 2004 from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) St. Louis chapter and a Regional Excellence Award in 2005 from the St. Louis Construction News & Review (CNR).

Architects for the project were Kallmann McKinnell & Wood Architects (Boston, MA). Their website includes information about the Olin Library project. Visit

For more information, contact Joy Lowery, Director of Communications for University Libraries, 314-935-5418.

Date of announcement: 11/9/05

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