The reading rooms in the Wilbur Cross building were original to 1939. Even as the needs of students changed over the years there were only minimal upgrades to the facility. Finally, design planning began in 2016 to update this well-loved building. This project restored and refurbished the reading rooms to improve functionality, expand and enhance student study and work space, modernize and improve AV and IT capabilities, as well as address acoustical issues and long-term deferred maintenance needs. The scope of work included refurbished walls and ceilings, lighting and acoustical improvements, the removal of disused materials, and technology/AV improvements.
In attempting to achieve all of their modernization goals as well as embrace the grandeur of the original design the decision makers used Fellert acoustical plaster which allowed for the acoustical issues to be resolved while keeping in mind the historical nature of the area. The restored ceilings keep the din of students studying down while ensuring that the Wilbur Cross reading rooms will remain a pleasing landmark on the UConn campus for years to come.