Branching Out | Library Design

A compilation of recent building projects and plans for more as they were presented in the Library Hotline newsletter, from May 1 through August 7, 2017

What’s happening in library construction

A compilation of recent building projects and plans for more as they were presented in the Library Hotline newsletter, from May 1 through August 7, 2017

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, KS, is planning a new space on the southwest corner of the 178,600 square foot building. To be named “Claire’s Corner,” the area will encompass an all-weather pavilion, an outdoor courtyard with a café, and an outdoor performance and programming amphitheater, under the ­direction of Tevis Architects, according to the Topeka-Capital Journal. (Hotline 5/1/17)

The Tolland Public Library, CT, reopened on March 30 following an expansion and renovation costing $2.6 million. The previous 11,162 square foot facility now measures 16,062 square feet and houses three study rooms, a Maker space, a business center, and a dedicated children’s program area, plus a two-story adult section, according to the Courant Community. The five-year effort, led by Tecton Architects, was supported through a $1 million state grant and a 2013 referendum. (Hotline 5/8/17)

Jamaica Plain Branch

The Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library (BPL) reopened on May 20, following a nearly two-year effort. The $10 million project includes a renovation to the 9,630 square foot facility, as well as the addition of a 700 square foot community reading lounge facing South Street; a terrace gathering space along Sedgwick Street; extra meeting rooms; and dedicated and flexible areas for children, teens, and adults. The work was designed by Utile, Inc., Architecture & Planning. (Hotline 5/15/17)

The Sherman Public Library (SPL), TX, is moving ahead with its $1.5 million renovation, but to add repair work to injury, the library first needed to remedy the damage from a fire in late April. The library will remain open during construction, which will include demolition of a 3,364 square foot addition and the ­installation of a new roof, mechanicals, shelving, and furnishings. A restroom will be reconfigured and a meeting room will be repurposed as a children’s programming area. (Hotline 6/5/17)

The library at LaGuardia Community College, Long Island City, NY, has finished an expansion that added 21,000 square feet, more than doubling the size of the facility. The $15 million project, led by architect IBI Group Gruzen Samton, with general contractor Stalco Construction, opened in mid-May. The two-year endeavor converted part of the second floor of the adjacent E-Building into what is now the library’s ­second floor, situated above the existing mezzanine. An extended structural steel and wood staircase connects the first floor to the new second floor, which includes a courtyard reading space, the Thomson Reading Room, and a media lab and video editing room. (­Hotline 6/19/17)

The Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH, dedicated its new Northside Branch on June 22. Originally completed in 1990, at 7,728 square feet, the branch was one of the smallest in the 23-library system. The new structure will encompass 25,000 square feet and feature increased parking and more room for programs and services. It will house as well a 200 square foot café run by Freedom a la Cart, a Columbus-based nonprofit ­catering company. NBBJ is the project architect. (Hotline 6/19/17)

The Newberry Library, Chicago, an independent research library dating back to 1893, has an $11 million renovation on its agenda. The Romanesque ­facility will undergo a remodel of 26,000 square feet of public space on the ground floor to include new galleries, an enlarged bookstore with a lounge, and public workstations. Ann Beha Architects will lead what is hoped to be a six-month project. (Hotline 6/26/17)

Prince George’s County Memorial Library System, MD, welcomed the renovated Bowie Branch on June 29. The nearly six-month remodel, the first major construction to the 40,449 square foot branch since 1999, includes a Main Street–themed children’s space, eight new study rooms, a bookstore/café, an updated teen zone, new service desks, a meeting room kitchenette, and fresh lighting fixtures. Helmed by Gant Brunnett Architects. (Hotline 7/10/17)

Coolspring Branch

On June 29, the new Coolspring Branch of the La Porte County Public Library (LPCPL), Michigan City, IN, opened across the street from its former 4,885 square foot home. The project was the final piece of the LPCPL upgrade program. The new library features a Play, Grow, Read! space, a play kitchen, and early literacy stations. It also encompasses a meeting room, study spaces, computers, an outdoor patio, and charging stations. (Hotline 7/17/17)

Construction will begin in the fall for a renovated Edith Abbott Memorial Library, Grand Island, NE. The 48,852 square foot facility will have a videoconferencing area, an improved lobby space, an updated teen zone, a Maker space, and extended walkway access. (Hotline 7/24/17)

The reopening of the renovated 10,000 square foot Dimond Branch of the Oakland Public Library was celebrated on August 19, marking the first remodel to the 1980 structure. The $957,000 project was supported through donations and grants, with an initial contribution from the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation. Among the upgrades is a reworked ground floor to designate specific areas for children, teens, and adults. Fresh paint, flooring, and furnishings were added throughout. (Hotline 8/7/17)

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