A renewed will inspire the creativity of children, reflect the moodiness of teenagers and celebrate the building's 106 year history in a transparent fashion.
The Ames Public Library Board of Trustees adopted the design for the library renewal project unanimously Thursday after a brief presentation by Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle a Minneapolis design firm.
Members of the design team showed trustees and people watching what the new library might look like when it opens in 2014.
Artwork inspired by Tan Gram Chineese dissection puzzles will be found throughout children's areas and the teen and youth part of the library design theme is inspired by film noir, reflecting the moody and variable characteristics of teens. The adult area will move to the library's second floor and its design will celebrate the library's history. The library was first built in 1904 and added on several times since. The oldest parts of the library will receive repairs and renovations and be blended with the 30,000 square feet of new space.
The library's auditorium would move to the front of the library facing Douglas Avenue and include a large glass box that would make activities going on inside more visible, presenters said.
Board of Trustee member Al Campbell said he found the presentation “quite impressive” and asked watching library staff, to express how they felt. Many of them raised their hands in the air with a thumbs up.
About 20 people were in the audience Thursday. Nine were library staff and three others were members of the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation.
The entire library renewal project is expected to cost about $20 million with contingencies. The cost of the project has been brought up in earlier board of trustees meetings because some cost estimates have been above the cash the library has on hand for the project.
In November, Ames voters approved an $18 million backed by property taxes. However the library project was estimated to cost $20 million and the library hoped to raise $2 million privately. Currently the library has raised about $1.4 million and has $470,966 left to collect from outstanding pledges, but some members have expressed concerns about going ahead with a project when they don't have all the money they need in the bank.
Brad Heemstra, construction manager for the project, said they plan to bid the project with options that would allow the board to do more if they have funds available.
Possible bid options include the reinforcement of the library's second floor so that it would be able to support high density shelving and audiovisual equipment furnishings, Heemstra said after Thursday's meeting.
The library would have to be relocate during renovations.
Heemstra said that two buildings in Lincoln Center, home to East Hy-Vee would be available as a temporary location. The former Hastings Book's Music & Video site was top on his list and second was a slightly smaller vacant building in the same area that was most recently a sport.
Outgoing Library Board of Trustees President Dudley Luckett said he wrote a letter to express his intent to lease the former Hastings space but ultimately the Ames City Council would have to approve the lease agreement.
Heemstra said if all goes as planned the library would move November 2012 and the renewed library would open August 2014.