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Widener Library Renovation Team Wins 3rd Annual SMPS Collaboration Award

The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) has presented the Widener Library Renovation team—the Harvard College Library (HCL), the Physical Resource Office of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), contractor Lee Kennedy Company, Inc., and Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering PC—with its third annual SMPS Collaboration Award, given to a design-contractor-owner team that demonstrates exemplary collaborative effort throughout a construction project.

The goal of the multi-million-dollar Widener renovation, scheduled for completion in Spring 2004, is to ensure the long-term preservation and security of the collections by upgrading all building and safety systems. From its inception, the project posed complex challenges:

  • renovating an historic 300,000-square-foot building within the confines of Harvard Yard and bordered by a major urban corridor;
  • cleaning and protecting 55 miles of books;
  • providing uninterrupted library service to the Harvard University community;
  • maintaining access to Widener's 3.5 million volumes; and
  • conveying information among 500 construction workers, 60 designers, 500 library staff, and 1,500 daily library users.

From the outset, the Widener project team—led by Nancy M. Cline, Roy E. Larsen Librarian of Harvard College and chair of the Widener Planning Committee; David Zewinski, Associate Dean for Physical Resources and Planning in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and chair of the Widener Building Committee; Lee Michael Kennedy and Cahal Stephens, principals of the contracting and architectural firms, and their respective staff members—has acted with unwavering unity.

Four years into the renovation, the project is on budget and on schedule, and all expectations of the renovated space are being met. "The ongoing success of the Widener renovation project is a direct result of close teamwork. From the earliest stages the College Library, FAS planners, Lee Kennedy Co., and Einhorn Yaffee Prescott shared a commitment to implement the project with sound leadership emphasizing communication, careful planning and coordination, and innovative project delivery methods. All parties share an understanding of the need to keep the library in service to our users, and we cultivated an environment of respect for all the work related to this massive project," said Cline.

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Last modified on Wednesday, July 23, 2003.