Before any further steps could be taken, the building needed to be evaluated by an architect to determine if modifications could be made to support a change in weight capacity. According to Nesbitt, the weight-bearing capacity differed between a residence hall and a library. A typical library needs at least 150 pounds per square foot versus the 60 pounds per square foot required of a typical residence hall. In order to update the building there needed to be steel rods in the framework. The university got lucky. In 1985 Treby-Howard Phillips
, an architectural firm from Allentown, PA surveyed the North wing and found the building structurally sound. The components needed to convert the old dormitory into a library were there. “If they had torn apart the south wing first, the building would have been torn down. So it was a pure stroke of luck,” Nesbitt said.
The $6 million that was initially allotted by the state was not enough to complete the project. Another three to four million was needed. Dr. Stephen Bickham
, professor of philosophy at Mansfield, created the Save North Hall committee as part of a fundraising effort. “The Save North Hall Committee was a faculty, alumni, student group of Pennsylvania citizens interested in supporting the university.” Bickham explained.