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Volume 7, Issue 1                                    University of Houston
Library security improving after computer theft

Round-the-clock security is planned as library construction enters its final months

By Portia-Elaine Gant
Breaking News Staff

University officials are working with library staff on better security after someone stole about 20 laptop computers and computer parts from the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library during the Thanksgiving holiday.

An unknown person broke a window on the library's first floor and stole the items between Nov. 24 and 26, according to UH Police Department reports.

Associate Dean of Libraries Linda Thompson said the library staff is working with a UHPD security specialist to better secure the building.

Pin Lim/Breaking News

Renovation and expansion of the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library will create a new, 24-hour study lounge and café facing Butler Plaza. The library construction project will be dedicated Feb. 16, though construction on some areas will continue past that date.

"We will also have security personnel all hours we are closed in addition to the security that is there when the library is open. This will be true through the holidays and until the large construction project is finished," Thompson said.

Meanwhile, construction is continuing on the library's renovation and expansion project. Dedication of the building is set for 4 p.m. Feb. 16, but Judy Myers, one of the project managers, said construction will not be finished then.

Myers said the library has been able to do more than expected within the project budget, so some parts of the building will be renovated after the dedication date.

"We want to renovate the second and third floor right off of the new atrium. We're going to be starting early next semester in renovating those areas, but unfortunately, we won't have those areas finished for the spring semester," she said.

Associate Vice President for Plant Operations Dave Irvin said "shell space" -- space built unfinished with the intent to complete construction when money is available -- will be finished using Library Fee revenue. Though the work will begin during the winter break, it won't be finished until the end of March, he said.

Overall, Myers said, the project is on schedule. All departments and services should be moved into the completed portions of the building by mid-to-late January, and most of the construction will be finished by mid-February.

Many library offices have already moved into their new quarters in the building, Myers said.

Among the new spaces in the building is a 24-hour lobby and cafe area, which Myers said will be finished by the beginning of the spring semester. The area will include study space, rest rooms, vending machines and 20 computer work stations.

Myers said the cafe won't be finished by the time classes resume, but vending machines will be in place. Students will use their Cougar 1Cards to access the area after library hours.

The finished building will also include a campus police substation, she said.

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