Pit-ching a new idea: library pit to be transformed into creative, new space

The pit next to Pickler Memorial Library. Student Government has a plan with a ceramics class to transform the space. (Photo by Nicolas Telep)

Truman State University students call it the “pit.” It’s the chasm next to Pickler Memorial Library. For a while now, the pit has been little more than an awkward hole in the middle of campus. However, after holding a design contest, Student Government has decided to renovate it with a mosaic for students to enjoy.

After being part of Truman’s community for nearly 13 years and running the Special Collections department in the library since 2011, Amanda Langendoerfer is looking forward to seeing more creative and aesthetically pleasing spaces on campus.

Langendoerfer said the pit wasn’t very well documented, and the community could consider the history that surrounds it more important. She said the pit was part of a renovation in the 90s, and the library elevator to the basement might have been intended as a service entrance where shipments could be delivered to the Technical Services basement of Pickler.

“So during the whole construction process, you know they just end up with this excavated area and, rather than filling it back in, it allows life to come into the department downstairs,” Langendoerfer said. “It has windows, and it does create this kind of interesting space that we all wanted to do something in for a very long time.”

Langendoerfer said the library came up with several ideas like creating a Celtic knots garden or using it as an area to relax. She said because it wasn’t ADA accessible, the pit was prevented from being used as a public space. Langendoerfer said making the pit an area to observe and appreciate art would be a great use for it because people could also view the art from the railings above.

Langendoerfer said she used to be a member of the Kirksville Art Association and is currently a strong supporter of the arts for the Kirksville and campus community. She said she is excited for seeing what future art projects students will take up on campus.

“I think students and the faculty are really the heart of this school,” Langendoerfer said. “And that may sound cliche-ish, but they are the ones who drive the creativity, they’re the ones that drive that scholarship, they drive this passion and the faculty members are usually quite passionate about what they’re teaching. I think that really translates over to the students.”

For more information about the pit, pick up a copy of The Index on March 29.