The Sunshine State added another bright spot on May 30 with the reopening of the West Boynton Branch of Palm Beach County Library System (PBCLS). The renovation of the 17,700 square foot facility, which originally opened in 1994, began in April 2011 and features a delightful color palette, wiring upgrades, self-checkout stations, an electronic book sorter, a glass-walled seating area with comfortable chairs, and fresh lighting fixtures, including “grown-up chandeliers” and “spiky orange drop-lamps in the children’s area,” per the Palm Beach Post. The project cost $1.8 million, funded through a $55 million bond measure passed in 2002. Circulation at PBCLS’s “third busiest branch,” tops 600,000 annually, according to the Post. The rehab was designed by Colome & Associates, with construction management from Weitz, both of West Palm Beach.
Oh, little town of Bethel: Bethel Public Library, CT, is moving closer to the long-awaited finale to its renovation with the decision by selectmen to demolish the Old Town Hall to make way for library parking. The initial phases of the project were begun in 2004 and involved a 22,000 square foot addition to the facility housed in the landmark Seelye House, bequeathed to the town in 1914. The expansion brought the library to a total of 28,600 square feet, but delays prevented usability of all the space. An ongoing fundraising campaign toward a $2.46 million goal will allow the last pieces to fall into place, including work to the unfinished second floor of the addition. That area is destined for a magazine and newspaper reading area, the teen section, a meeting/community room, computers, a tech lab, and reference services, according to Bethel Patch. Grant and private moneys support the project, which is heading for an early 2013 completion.
The new 17,800 square foot Millis Public Library, MA, on April 28 held a traditional “beam signing,” whereby town residents were invited to sign the structural support of the building’s foundation, a common building practice. Replacing the current 43-year-old facility will cost $7.7 million, with
$5 million coming from the town and the remainder from a state grant. Heading toward Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification, the library, designed by Oudens Ello Architecture, is looking to open in January 2013.