Branching Out, September 15, 2016

Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Atlanta, is expanded and renovated; Calistoga Public Library, CA, reopens; Randolph C. Watson Library at Kilgore College, TX, is back after a remodel; and more new construction and renovation news from the September 15, 2016 issue of Library Journal.

Randolph C. Watson Library at Kilgore College, TX
Photo courtesy of Kilgore College

The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Atlanta, reopened on August 4 following a two-and-a-half-year, $20 million renovation and expansion. Work on the now 55,000 square foot facility was led by J.W. Robinson & Associates, Inc. and the Freelon Group, with construction management from Cooper & Co. General Contractors and Sovereign Construction and Development. The joint venture team of Heery International and H.J. Russell & Co. provided program management. The remodel includes a café, a gift shop, a 240-seat auditorium, and improved archives.

The Calistoga Public Library, CA, part of Napa County Library, completed a renovation in June to the 1924 building. Though maintaining its original 3,000 square feet, the library increased available space by expanding into two mostly unused rooms. Under the guidance of Napa Design Partners and Carr Construction, the more than $1.2 million rehab encompassed new flooring, gigabit Internet service, a self-check machine, ten public access computers, updated lighting fixtures, new HVAC and insulation, and an automatic sliding door; historic windows were treated for energy efficiency. Funding came from a county capital improvement fund, the Toni Egger 2001 Trust, and Friends of the Calistoga Library.

The Scott County Public Library, Georgetown, KY, completed a construction effort in June that was approved by the Board of Trustees in 2012. The 24,000 square foot structure gained 13,000 square feet along with a complete remodel. Brandstetter Carroll Inc. faced design constraints that included adding onto a land-locked site. The building now features an exhibit gallery, more meeting rooms, a high-tech meeting space, a 250-person-capacity community room, a café, a dedicated area for teens, two outdoor reading patios, and improved staff work spaces.

A nine-month renovation of the Scoville Memorial Library, Salisbury, CT, finished up in July. Opened in 1895 and the oldest publicly funded library in the country, the two-story, 12,600 square foot facility underwent major improvements in addition to the restoration of original features during the $1.6 million effort. The project, led by Poesis Design and Burlington Construction, features a new staircase, a children’s area with a garden, flexible reading and study spaces, an additional bathroom, and more technology. The barrel-vault ceiling, two historical fireplaces, mosaic tile, the Tower Room paneling, and maple floors were restored.

Following a 15-month effort, the new Seguin Public Library, TX, opened in July following a massive 45,000 square foot project. Under the hand of Byrne Construction Services, the $14.8 million voter-approved building is situated along the banks of Walnut Springs Park and the city’s new hike and bike trail, according to

The Randolph C. Watson Library at Kilgore College, TX (pictured), reopened on July 28, following a $2 million remodel led by project manager Transet Co. The original 1967 building is situated adjacent to the new Mike Miller Plaza, which was the site of the Martha Pfaff Ivan Liberal Arts Building. The plaza rehab and a new plant garden cost $1 million, which was donated by Kilgore alum Miller upon his death in 2007, according to the Kilgore News Herald; seating throughout the space was constructed from granite recouped from the razed Ivan facility.

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