NORMAN — Planned renovations to the University of Oklahoma's Bizzell Memorial Library are beginning to take shape.
The OU Board of Regents approved designs Thursday for the renovation of lower level 1 of the library's Neustadt Wing.
The renovations will create space for group collaboration, while remodeling and expanding the Bookmark Cafe, a coffee shop. The project also will more than double the area's seating capacity, bringing it to 525 seats from the current 224.
The design also includes a digital humanities laboratory, a video lab and faculty research space.
The project is estimated to cost $5 million, and will be funded through private donations and funding the university receives annually from the state Commissioners of the Land Office.
During the meeting, OU President David Boren said the renovated space would allow students to work together on collaborative projects and form study groups.
“It really is visionary,” Boren said.
At a regents meeting in March, OU officials won approval to hire Oklahoma City-based architecture firm Rees Associates to develop a master plan for the modernization of the library.