||Alumni Memorial Library, AMH
||University alumni, who made substantial contributions to the building's funding
||Gilboy, Bellante & Clauss
||R. D. Richardson Construction Company
||Donations from University alumni
||35,238 sq ft
In the mid 1950s, University of Scranton administrators announced a grand $5,000,000 campus expansion plan that included the transformation of the Scranton Estate, which then housed the Jesuit community, into a library. A new library was urgently needed to replace the existing library on the third floor of Old Main, which was not only far away from classrooms but was also structurally inadequate: some of its 40,000 volumes had to be moved to lower floors due to structural strain on the building. However, the idea of building an addition onto the Estate proved to be impractical, and it was dropped in favor of building a separate structure on the Estate grounds.
During construction of the new library, a major mining cavity and tunnels were discovered below the surface of the planned site. The void was estimated to be 7 feet deep and up to 40 feet wide. Using a digging rig brought in from Texas, contractors sunk 33 steel casings into the ground, each more than 40 feet long, and then poured concrete through them to form pillars in order to support the structure.
The two-story Alumni Memorial Library was designed to hold 150,000 volumes (the collection at the time being approximately 62,000 volumes) as well as study space for approximately 500 students. The split-level design also included conference rooms, a music room, a visual aid room, microfilm facilities, and a smoking lounge. The buff iron-spot building was considered cutting edge at the time, with glare-reducing thermo-pane glass, noise-reducing solid brick walls, radiant heating and cooling, and humidity control. Overall construction costs were approximately $806,000.
In 1993, after the University's Library moved into the newly constructed Weinberg Memorial Library, Alumni Memorial Hall was renovated to house the University Computing and Data Services Center (now the Division of Planning and Information Resources), along with the Psychology Department on the second floor.
"Scranton's Campus Dream Coming True
13 January 1955: 4-5.
"U of S Plans to Convert Old Scranton Mansion into Library," Scranton Times
4 April 1955.
"Erection of Suitable U of S Library Is Proposed to Development Council," 1 May 1958.
"U of S Alumni's Goal: $500,000 to Library," Scranton Times
25 March 1959: 3.
"Pillars to Protect New Library," Scranton Tribune
3 November 1959.
"Library Holds Many Distinct Sectors
26 February 1960: 3.
"University of Scranton to Dedicate New Buildings," Catholic Light
8 September 1960: 1, 12.
"Library and Student Center dedicated by Bishop
23 September 1960: 2.
"The Building of a University
17 April 1972: 16-24.
"Renovations Planned for Library
14 November 1991: 3+.