November 19, 2017

Branching Out, March 1, 2016

The Blythewood Branch of the Richland Library, Columbia, SC, is about to embark on a major construction project, and residents got a sneak peek on February 4. The 4,000 square foot 1992 facility will gain 3,000 square feet in the $2 million renovation and expansion supported through a 2013 bond referendum. The team behind the work includes Liollio Architecture, Providence Associates, and Margaret Sullivan Studio.

The new Canal Winchester Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML), OH, opened on January 25. The branch occupies 5,400 square feet in what was the gymnasium of the Canal Winchester Education Center, leased at an annual fee of $1 for five years. The new facility, CML’s second “express” location, includes a homework center, preschool-directed programs and services, public access computers, Wi-Fi accessibility, and printers and photocopiers.

January 30 marked the reopening of the Collins Garden Branch Library of the San Antonio Public Library, following a six-month, $950,000 renovation and expansion effort. The library, which launched in 1984 and was last rehabbed in 1996, is collocated with the new Council 5 District Field Office. The project, helmed by Alvidrez Architects, Inc., with MGB Construction, added 800 square feet to the front of the 10,150 square foot facility, as well as updated the entry plaza with seating and a modernized façade, remodeled the restrooms, installed new flooring, created designated children’s and teen spaces, and painted inside and out.

The Fresno County Public Library (FCPL), CA, welcomed the new Betty Rodriguez Regional Library on January 9, designed by Paul Halajian Architects. Replacing the 40-year-old, 7,500 square foot Cedar Clinton Branch, the new 13,969 square foot facility, which cost roughly $5 million, was originally a grocery store. It now encompasses a 50-person meeting room; two group study spaces; dedicated areas for children, teens, and adults; 25 public access computers (twice as many as in its predecessor); an early learning center; and an innovation lab, the first of its kind for FCPL. It also features a painting by Fresno artist Dale Oftedal. The project was funded through Measure B tax revenues, renewed in 2012.

February 1 marks the official opening of the remodeled and expanded Lake City Public Library , MN. The 4,800 square foot library, a member of SELCO (Southeastern Libraries Cooperating), gained 2,000 square feet in the nearly $2.1 million construction effort that saw a total transformation of the building. Initially, plans were in the works for a brand new library, but a referendum to support such a project was defeated. So, enter Plan B, according to Post-Bulletin.com. The eight-month remodel was supported predominantly by the city, with subsequent funding from the Friends of the Lake City Library. The refurbished facility includes additional meeting spaces and study areas. “Space in the new library will be more flexible so it can change as needs change,” library administrator Patti Bross told Post-Bulletin.com.—Bette-Lee Fox

This article was published in Library Journal's March 1, 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox (blfox@mediasourceinc.com) is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Celebrating her 43rd year with Library Journal, Bette-Lee also edits LJ’s Video Reviews column, six times a year Romance column, and e-original Romance reviews, which post weekly as LJ Xpress Reviews.

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