The new two-story Uintah County Library & Community Resource Center, Vernal, UT (pictured), opened in August following an 11-month effort. The 32,000 square foot facility, designed by JWL Architecture and Babcock Design Group, with construction management from Layton Construction, houses a 40-seat classroom, a 150-seat community room, 50 public computers covering all age ranges, designated children’s and teen spaces, and a 140,000-item collection, with room to grow. The building features a glass curtain wall, a fireplace, and comfortable seating throughout, along with sustainable elements inspired by Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) practice. Support for the $9.5 million structure came from a variety of sources, including a library property tax, a Utah Permanent Community Impact Fund Board grant, and mineral-lease and mineral royalty funds.
The Queens Library, Jamaica, NY, has begun work on its new Elmhurst Library, a 30,000 square foot, $27.8 million project, with a projected 2014 completion date. The architect of record and interior designer is Marpillero Pollak Architects, with work from general contractor Stalco Construction. The four-level library is twice as large as its 1906 Carnegie predecessor and will include an elevator; specific areas earmarked for adults, children, and teens; a Cyber Center housing 32 computers; a reading atrium; and two community garden spaces. The project is targeting LEED Silver certification, and among the sustainable practices are the use of original bricks in the new exterior and the restoration and relocation of the children’s section fireplace. Interior and exterior visibility are embodied by two 25′-high glass cubes set into the library’s terra-cotta façade. One cube will be the home of “Shapes,” an oversized installation by artist Allan McCollum.
The Eckstrom-Columbus Library (ECL), Tucson, AZ, part of Pima County Public Library, closed on September 9 for a renovation and expansion project. The work will cost $1.9 million, nearly $1.7 million of which comes from savings from the Murphy-Wilmot Branch Library project, which was finished in early 2011. The refurbished ECL will gain 5000 square feet, for a total of 16,000 square feet, and will include a second meeting room, additional study spaces, and the capacity to house 52 computers, per the Tucson Sentinel. The library is temporarily relocating to the building that was the former Roberts Elementary School.