Why are there no toilets in our newly-renovated library?
Oh, we hear you. Toilets, power points, discussion rooms were all considered and worked into our plans.
But with toilets, the library’s infrastructure itself was the stumbling block. It was not just about adding toilets. It was creating piping systems and all sorts of systems in an old building which was not originally built to accommodate these.
So the next question was – why didn’t we have toilets in the first place?
Ah… you see, way back in 1987, the building built in memory of our former Minister of Finance, Mr Hon Sui Sen, included 3 areas:
• The library
• The Hon Sui Sen Auditorium
• The current MBA Student Lounge (opposite the library’s entrance)
The MBA Student Lounge was originally a large conference area intended to support any event held at the Auditorium. It was to be used as a refreshment area, exhibition area for posters and so on.
The toilets were located in the center of the building complex to serve all 3 areas.
You see, the building complex was designed such that the Auditorium was to be used for conferences, performances, events (Did you know there’s a dressing room behind the stage?). During breaks, participants would walk along the walkway at the side of the library to the conference area for their refreshments or to network or to the toilets.
It was prudent to centralise the toilets to serve people of all 3 areas.
The passage of time changed all these.
The most obvious was the utilization of the space of the conference area. It was first occupied by the Institute of Policy Studies, then, the Institute of South Asian Studies, then, the Bizad’s Career Services and now, the MBA Student Lounge.
And for the library… well, we have feedback that eventually led to the carving out of more space within the building itself for more discussion rooms, reading areas. And with more tables, we invested in more power points.