Patrons won’t normally find power tools and broken drywall on the shelves at the library. To create the spaces citizens have clamored for, making noise and a mess is the only way to get it done.
Renovation of Johnson County Library’s Central Resource branch is entering Phase 2: construction of flagship library public spaces on the east side of the re-purposed Dolgins Furniture Store at 9875 W. 87th Street. A new MakerSpace, community room and bookstore are planned.
To make way for these 21st-Century library features, crews will loudly demolish existing walls and features along this corridor. They’ll also cut pathways through the concrete floor for expanded power and network connections. This will make a significant racket and raise a lot of dust, activities that librarians normally frown upon.
“This is definitely not typical library behavior, that’s for sure,” project coordinator Scott Sime said. “Have you ever tried to shush a demo crew?” Sime said the $3.5 million county-funded project is on schedule and on-budget.
When completed, Phase 2 will see the expanded Black & Veatch MakerSpace in the northeast corner. Favorite functions of the original ‘Space, such as green screen, 3-D printing, workshops and seminars supported by the Kauffman Foundation will sprawl into 1,700 square feet supported by Black & Veatch, through grants administered by the Johnson County Library Foundation. The Carmack Community Room shifts to the south-central wall. The new digs will seat 150 for the library’s popular series of events, lectures and performances.
The Friends of Johnson County Library will open a new used bookstore in the center of the library. The Friends annually provide support to collections, programs and staff development.
Phase 2 work continues through Oct. 9 and Phase 3 – HVAC systems – then revs up. Phase 1 addressed ceilings, walls and floor coverings in the stacks. Since March, crews have constructed a dozen new study and meeting spaces along the west side of the building. These spaces will be under wraps until January 2016 reopening.