Broward County Libraries and the City of Dania Beach, FL, welcomed on April 9 the opening of the Dania Beach Paul DeMaio Branch Library in its new digs. The 10,000 square foot facility is a joint city/county venture, with Dania Beach contributing $3.5 million to the total $9.6 million city center project, which includes an adjacent parking garage as well as eventual commercial/retail space and a hotel, per the Miami Herald. The oldest city in Broward County, Dania Beach is redeveloping its downtown core, with the library an integral part of the plan. The library houses a collection of nearly 40,000 items, including books, CDs, DVDs, and periodicals, plus a 75-seat multipurpose room and 18 public access computers. Designed by architects Manuel Synalovki Associates to blend the Florida Vernacular style with 21st-century sustainability, it is the second Broward County library to target Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Paul DeMaio (d.1999) founded the Friends of the Dania Beach Library.
Oak Forest Neighborhood Library, a branch of Houston Public Library, TX, reopened on April 18 following an 18-month renovation and expansion. Now enlarged to 12,000 square feet from its original 8000 square feet, the $4.6 million, bond-funded Oak Forest library received an AIA Houston Design Award in the “Renovation and Restoration” division for the refurbishment of the 1961 structure. The design by James Ray Architects with Natalye Appel Architects and Architectworks, Inc., is looking toward LEED Silver certification for its ecofriendly features, which include the incorporation of regional and recycled materials and low-emitting products and the installation of a high-performance roof.
The new Warrensville Heights Branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL), OH, set to break ground May 2, will encompass 25,000 square feet and be colocated with a new YMCA building. Replacing its 1971 predecessor, the $9.75 million library, designed by Holzheimer Bolek + Meehan | Architects, is phase one of CCPL’s three-year Facilities Master Plan to build, relocate, or renovate 13 branches and, ultimately, lower long-term operating costs. Among the design features are an interactive play and learning space, funded through a $100,000 grant from the Reinberger Foundation, and a curving glass façade.
— Compiled by Bette-Lee Fox