Initially a small facility in 1920 within a women’s club, and following numerous moves, the new Salt Lake County Library opened on May 21 on the site of its original structure. The 20,000 square foot library, twice the size of its 1974 predecessor, houses a collection of nearly 120,000 items, including books, DVDs and CDs, Spanish-language materials, and more. The number of young adult titles has grown as well. Designed by Cooper Roberts Simonsen Associates and expedited by ONYX Construction, the $6.9 million library encompasses spacious meeting rooms, a state-of-the-art children’s section, well-lit open spaces, and twice as many Internet stations as the previous structure. Local artists John Hess and Day Christensen created unique sculptural artwork for the library. The building is targeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for its sustainable elements, which include energy-efficient systems.
The influx of $14 million in construction grants to New York State libraries is seeing immediate use on Long Island’s Sag Harbor. State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. announced that the John Jermain Memorial Library (JJML) will receive $137,667 in grant funds to ignite a multiphase exterior stabilization for the 101-year-old library, which, according to the Southampton Patch, is “literally falling apart.” The 7,084 square foot building eventually will gain a 7,725 square foot, three-story addition funded through a $10 million 2009 bond measure. Major restoration and repairs are high on the list of essentials as well. JJML, commissioned in 1910 by Mrs. Russell Sage in honor of her grandfather, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
New York State libraries will be initiating more such projects now that capital funds are flowing. The 25,000 square foot Scarsdale Public Library will take its $111,280 construction grant and update its worn-out HVAC systems. The current roof-top unit has surpassed its 25-year life expectancy, with the grant affording a more energy-efficient space.
A bit farther west, ground was broken on June 1 for the new 46,750 square foot Crown Point Community Library, IN. The $12 million library, designed by the Valparaiso-based Design Organization, will house a children’s program room, a dedicated teen zone, community meeting rooms, quiet reading areas, an Internet café, and outdoor spaces, in addition to offering Wi-Fi accessibility. A bond measure supports the funding; the project is slated for a 2013 completion.
Compiled by Bette-Lee Fox