San Francisco’s 2000 Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP) bond measure has funded its 18th project—the Merced Branch Library, which reopened on May 14. The renovation also added 1100 square feet to the 5140 square foot library, which originally opened in 1958. Among the building’s upgrades are a designated teen space, a children’s area double its size, seismic enhancements, Americans with Disabilities Act–compliant access, additional computers, a fireside reading lounge, improved HVAC systems, and enhanced collections. The building is on target for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. Situated across from the Stonestown Galleria Mall and San Francisco State University (SFSU), the library serves a diverse constituency and will provide needed service to the SFSU population as the university’s library is in the throes of a three-year renovation, per the San Francisco Chronicle. Aside from BLIP dollars, $500,000 was raised by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library for furnishings and equipment.
Going big is nothing new in Texas, as evidenced by the back-to-back opening of two new branches of San Antonio Public Library (SAPL), both funded through a 2007 bond measure. The 16,400 square foot Mission Branch Library was welcomed on April 30 in space once occupied by a landmark drive-in theater; the 26-acre site will encompass other development as well. The building’s Spanish mission style includes the incorporation of stucco, stone, wood, tile, and metal in the construction, which eventually will include restoration of the theater’s historic marquee. The south side features glass walls and a view of the San José Mission. The $7.4 million library was designed by Kell Muñoz Architects. The Parman Branch Library opened May 7 on ten aces of land donated by developer Dan Parman valued at nearly $3 million. The 17,000 square foot, $10.7 million library is built of glass and natural limestone and includes a courtyard and an outdoor amphitheater, which was donated by the Salomon family. An adjacent walking trail was a gift of SAPL trustee Loyce Ince. The optimization of natural light, water-conserving fixtures, and site preservation activities are among the sustainable elements that have set the project on a path toward LEED Silver certification. The library was designed by Marmon Mok Architecture.
The Sebring Public Library, FL, began a much-needed remodel in May, at the heart of which is a new teen center. The teen center will reclaim space in the 14,816 square foot library formerly occupied by technical services and administrative offices, per Highlands Today. Computers, YA fiction, graphic novels, and the gaming collection will be relocated to the new area. Buildingwide, the installation of additional electrical outlets is intended to encourage users to connect to the library’s Wi-Fi network. Other updates include new carpeting, shelfing, and furniture. The $141,468 project cost is covered through a combination of state aid, impact fees, and Friends of the Library contributions.