Converse County’s new 30,000 square foot library in Douglas is 80% complete, with completion expected this year in September. Voters approved funding for the project in 2012, and construction began in March, 2015. The new building will be three times the size of the previous one, built in 1968. The old building was demolished as part of the project, and the library has been operating out of the Ft. Reno Building on the Wyoming State Fairgrounds in the interim.
Currently, the contractor is finishing the installation of the HVAC system on the second floor, laying the carpet on the first floor, hanging doors, installing light fixtures throughout the building, pulling wire to the security and access systems, and installing cameras and electronic door access panels.
A unique feature going up right now is the “Clouds,” which are large wooden panels suspended from the ceilings at irregular angles, intervals, and heights with integrated lighting and colors to mimic abstract clouds. “It should be a stunning detail when completed,” said Kirk Hissam, library director.
A raised floor and open central design will allow for flexibility so that the layout can be reconfigured, bringing power and data to the furniture and equipment rather than having to arrange furniture according to power and data locations.
Other features will include a glass wall for the elevator that will face the street, multiple meeting and conference spaces, a gaming wall and green screen in the young adult room, a makerspace, and multiple service points throughout the building for patron contact. A private donor has provided funding for a local history and genealogy room.
“After nearly a decade of dreaming, planning, designing, and constructing, we’re getting close,” said Hissam. “We’ve got new technology, new services, and new ways of serving our patrons in this building. We’re excited for the day we can open the doors to the community.”