Expansion Project: Expansion Q & A

How will the library be expanded?
How will this additional space be used?
How will the library be renovated?
Why is it necessary to expand the library?
Why is expanding the main library preferable to building branches?
How much will this project cost?
When will the work be done?
How will library service be affected during construction?
How can I learn more about this project.

 

How will the library be expanded?

The library will be expanded by extending the front of the building out to the existing screen wall on all three floors.  Doing this will add 19,000 square feet to the library.

How will this additional space be used?

8,365 square feet of additional space on the first floor will house a 125-seat auditorium, a new Children’s story room, a new lobby area with lounge seating, and a book sale storage and sorting room for the Friends of the Library. 

Adding 5,760 square feet of additional space on the second floor will allow us to relocate and expand the Heritage Research Center, Business Research Services, and to add more shelving for adult non-fiction and reference.

The third floor will gain 4,880 square feet of additional space where we will relocate and expand shelving for adult fiction, large print, and paperbacks.  The public computing center will nearly double in size.

How will the library be renovated?

Approximately 13,000 square feet of space in the existing library will be renovated due to the relocation of some collections and services as part of the overall expansion process.  For example, the current Media Arts area on the third floor will more than double in size.  Many areas in the existing library will receive new carpet, paint, and furniture.

Why is it necessary to expand the library?

There is no room in the library for expanding any library collections, or for adding any new programs or services.  Currently there is no space in the library for community meetings or programs.  All of the library’s meeting rooms as well as its main auditorium have been adapted for use by the Public Computing Center.  Storage closets have been converted into offices and workspaces for staff too.  It is very difficult to conduct library programs due to lack of space.

Why is expanding the main library preferable to building branches?

Building adequate branch libraries will be expensive, and ongoing operation of them will be even more expensive.  For example, land acquisition and construction costs for a 22,000 square foot regional branch library could easily reach $6 million, with annual operating costs of $1.5 to $2 million.  Furthermore, library users participating in community focus groups have told us to expand the main library instead of building expensive branches, and to create small, technology-focused satellite locations to enhance access to the main library.  We have pursued this plan with expansion of the main library as the final step in its completion.

How much will this project cost?

The budget for this project is $6 million to cover the cost of expanding the building, completing the renovations to the existing building, and adding more parking.

When will the work be done?

Engineering and design work will begin in 2006 and conclude by mid 2007.  Construction will begin in the second half of 2007 and conclude in 2009.

How will library service be affected during construction?

Keeping the library open to the public during construction will be a challenging goal that will drive the planning and scheduling of the work.  It is unrealistic to think library users will not be inconvenienced at times during this project.  Every effort will be made to keep the library functioning on its normal schedule with all essential services and materials available each day.  Every step of the project will be planned with this key question in mind, How can inconvenience for the public be minimized or eliminated?

How can I learn more about this project?

To learn more about the library expansion and renovation project, contact Library Director Kem Ellis by calling 883-3694 or by e-mail kem.ellis@highpointnc.gov.