March 17, 2018

Library Construction Update: New and Renovated Buildings, 12/07/12

Hartford Public Library, CT, celebrated its renovated and expanded Dwight Branch (pictured) on December 3. The library was originally founded in 1907 and has now expanded twofold, from 1,100 square feet to 2,200 square feet, in its location connected to the Parkville Elementary School and the Parkville Senior Center. Designed by Tai Soon Kim Partners of Hartford, with general contractor Pioneer Builders of Newington, the renovation increases space for programs and services while updating the building for the modern user. The $1.5 million project, funded through the City of Hartford and a $500,000 State Library Construction Grant, includes the removal of the austere cinderblock walls and the installation of large glass panels, along with the addition of a dedicated youth section and an outdoor ­amphitheater.

After three years and $300,000 of private and in-kind contributions, the refurbished Lahaina Public Library, HI, opened in November. The 57-year-old, 4,908 square foot facility received a complete overhaul, with new flooring, paint, windows, furniture, and a custom-built circulation desk topped with granite. The miraculous part of the project, which began through the efforts of the Rotary Club of Lahaina and the Maui Friends of the Library, is that it was completed with no public support and by 21 separate contractors and service providers who contributed $155,000 in the form of no-cost or low-cost work. Friends board member Sara Foley supervised the construction work and with a design expert laid out the new ­interior.

Colorado’s Anythink Brighton library on December 5 opened its first teen Maker space. The creative community space, which is all the rage in libraries today, gives teens access to tools and materials for crafts, textile design, digital photography, robotics, and 3-D printing. Located within the library’s multipurpose room, the new area, funded through an $18,849 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, is the first such space in the library district and will “serve as an idea lab…for teens to explore their creativity and cultivate their imaginations,” per the library’s press release.

The 11,000 square foot Port Hadlock Branch of the Jefferson County Library, WA, closed on December 3 in preparation for a six-month renovation and expansion. Despite the defeat of a 2011 bond measure, fundraising efforts and library capital reserves successfully reached the $700,000 mark to move the renovation forward. According to Peninsula Daily News, the remodel, which will add 500 square feet of usable space, will include updated seating, an improved layout, increased computer stations, new shelving, and a livelier display of materials encompassing more of the library’s popular ebook and Playaway audio formats. The project is expected to be completed in June 2013.

Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox ( is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Celebrating her 46th 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.

The Latest Trends in Library Design
Hosted in partnership with Salt Lake County Library and The City Library—at SLCo’s Viridian Center—the newest installment of our library building and design event will let you dig deep with architects, librarians, and vendors to explore building, renovating, and retrofitting spaces to better engage your community.