Branching Out, February 1, 2018

Kenyon College receives $175 million; La Porte County Public Library, IN, wins an AIA merit award; Rockford Public Library, IL, will get a new building; and more new construction and renovation news from the February 1, 2018 issue of Library Journal.

New Kenyon College library and West Quad (rendering)

The Ann Arbor District Library, MI, the 1997 LJ Library of the Year, is considering several plans for its 110,000 square foot downtown location. Four options were presented to the library board, including remodeling and rebuilding, that would range from $10.4 million to $62.5 million. The current facility is a mélange of structures from 1957, 1974, and 1991. Among immediate concerns are a problematic septic system and a leaky roof, along with the need for new lighting. Obtaining public input and confirming construction estimates are on the board’s to-do list.

Private liberal arts college Kenyon College, Gambier, OH, founded in 1824, announced in September receipt of the largest gift in the school’s history. An anonymous donor gave the institution $75 million to develop a new library and academic quad (above). The new West Quad will replace the Olin and Chalmers libraries and encompass the library and academic commons, an academic building, and student services, in addition to underground parking. The new library is targeting Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification and will be greener and more energy efficient than the current buildings. The library work will launch in June 2018.

The renovated Main Library, La Porte County Public Library, IN, gained for designer MKM architecture + design a Merit Award from the Fort Wayne chapter of the American Institute of Architects. MKM admirably “transformed” the building into a modern public library while keeping its historic charm.

The Rockford Public Library, IL, is more than 100 years old, and the time has come to begin a new chapter in its history. Following years’ worth of conversation, the 80,000 square foot waterfront property is being demolished to make way for a new building. Utility ComEd is paying $33 million to demolish the old structure and clean up the soil, after which construction will commence. The work is being led by Engberg Anderson and Gary Anderson Architects. In the meantime, the library set up shop two blocks away in the Hart Interim Library, which opened on December 2.

The location for the new Trotwood Branch Library, OH, a member of the Dayton Metro Library (DML), was announced on October 30, 2017. Part of DML’s $187 million Libraries for a Smarter Future improvement project, the 12,000 square foot facility will be designed by Ruetschle Architects, with Shook Construction as construction manager. The design phase began in November, with work to start in fourth quarter 2018.—Bette-Lee Fox

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