Leeds University Library

Laidlaw Library "topped out"

Published Monday 1 September 2014

The University Librarian at the topping out of the Laidlaw Library

Important milestone in new library construction celebrated

The new Laidlaw Library has celebrated a construction milestone with a "topping out" ceremony. The ritual marks the last brick being added to the structure, which is traditionally signed by those involved before being bedded in.

The University Librarian, Dr Stella Butler, joined the Project Leader for Shepherd construction, Jon Mangham, on the roof of the Laidlaw Library for the ceremony, to sign the last Portland stone before it was placed on the front of the building.

Stella Butler described the experience as "a great privilege" and described her impressions of the building so far:

"The building is buzzing with activity. All the floors are now in place and it is already clear that it will be light, airy and easy to navigate.

Many of the individual rooms are complete, including the community classroom on the ground floor and the group study rooms. The cabling for both power and data is going in and some windows are in place, including those on the ground floor, Woodhouse Lane side.

I stood where the high demand book collection will be placed, and imagined the booksorter operating to the sound of coffees being served in Caffè Nero across the atrium.

The building is really beginning to come together. The series of views you get as you move around it, across both the campus and the city, are simply stunning. It promises to be a wonderful building of fantastic quality and design and I am absolutely certain students will flood in as soon as we open the doors!"

The construction work is currently on schedule for the Library to open its doors after Easter 2015. It has been generously supported by Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay, after whom the building is named, funding from the Wolfson Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation and many individual donations from alumni of the University.