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Round Rock: Architects Sought for Design of New $20M Library

06/14/2017 01:10:00 pm | Viewed: 289

Texas Construction News from Virtual Builders Exchange

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The proposed site for the new library is across the Brushy Creek Bridge on Mays Street, on vacant land to the right of the "Downtown" gateway.

 

Posted: 6-14-2017, 2:18 p.m.

by Adolfo Pesquera

Round Rock (Williamson County) - The City of Round Rock wants to hire an architectural and engineering team to design a new $20 million library, possibly with a theater component, in the downtown district.

A general Request for Statement of Interest and Qualifications was advertised Saturday, June 10. The city wants to build a multi-story library on the 500 block of North Mays Street where the road crosses Brushy Creek.

The site is east of Memorial Park and an easement is being reserved along the bank of Brushy Creek for a future hiking trail.

Round Rock citizens have participated in public library project meetings to discuss their preferences. Their desires, as expressed in the RFQ, is for a facility that is functional, versatile, and timeless.

"The library built downtown would be truly urban. The intent of a library in the downtown area is to create a building that stands out in the community," the RFQ states. "It will be designed to blend in with Round Rock's historic district and active downtown community to enhance and encourage future development."

Initial discussions describe a five-story structure with a total of 60,000 square feet. There would be three stories at 20,000 square feet each, and a two story parking garage that could accommodate about 300 vehicles. The parking structure design must account for accessibility for parents with small children, seniors and delivery vehicles. It should also be able to accommodate a library bookmobile and a book delivery program.

While fully supporting library programming needs, the overall design should also take advantage of rooftop views of the creek and future trail system.

 

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The proposed site is located on the north end of downtown and next to a proposed hiking trail.

 

Black Box Theater

"A black bos performing arts theater may be taken into consideration during the programming phase of the library to see if the concept fits the location," the RFQ said.

Considerations for a theater should include, but are not limited to: stadium seating, lighting, sound technology, stage adaptability, patron and performer accommodations, support spaces, and functionality.

Round Rock is seeking firms with experience in public library design, as well as proficiency with Building Information Modeling (BIM), and the use of BIM in coordinating the design and construction.

A selection committee comprised of community stakeholders will review responses and select a firm to be recommended to City Council.

"The selection committee may develop a short list not to exceed five firms to be interviewed ... before a recommendation is made," the RFQ states.

Responses are due July 6. Up to five firms will be selected for interviews by July 24, with interviews being conducted August 8. The recommendation to City Council is scheduled for October 26, and the city intends to give the chosen firm a notice to proceed by November 2.

The city has been deliberating on the need for a new library for some time. In 2013, the Dallas-based library consultant Godfrey's Associates Inc. proposed that the city build a $39 million main library and lease two branch libraries at more than $1.3 million each. Their master plan called for increasing the size of the current main library from 42,000 square feet to 113,000 square feet, or building a new library.

It was in November of 2013 that the citizens approved by referendum the use of $23.2 million in bond proceeds to build a new main library and renovate the existing library. The city and the Round Rock Independent School District collaborated to secure the project site location, which is next to CD Fulkes Middle School.

 

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The current main library in downtown Round Rock, as seen from Main Street.

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adolfo@virtualbx.com

 

 


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Adolfo Pesquera
Reporter/Editor
adolfo@virtualbx.com

Adolfo Pesquera is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.