Merrill Library 1960s’ Remodel

Painting of the Merrill Library<br />
Painting of the Merrill Library (USU Special Collections & Archives, P0420, Box 1, Folder 1, Item 8)

In 1958, a campus library committee began developing plans for building a new library. The committee recommended erecting a separate building in the parking lot to the east of the Student Union (TSC), and remodeling the 1930s’ building for continued academic and classroom use.

Ultimately, the need for additional classroom space, the need to accommodate nonlibrary tenants, and the influence of the State Building Board convinced the university to accept a project that married the old building with a new building by essentially enclosing the 1930s’ structure in a brick and mortar box.

Despite compromising the original programming plans of the Library Committee, the “shiny bright” new library, admirably served the needs of the University’s approximately 9,000 students and 160 faculty members.

Built in phases beginning in 1961 and dedicated in 1967, the new library included a gallery on its west front section. Classrooms and offices occupied the west front portion of the second, third, and fourth floors as well as the southwest corner.

In 1969, the library was named for one of its strongest supporters—retiring Academic Vice President Milton R. Merrill.

Edited from An Encyclopedic History of Utah State University by Robert Parson, University Archivist.