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Williamsburg Library details coming together


Plans for the new Williamsburg Public Library include a clock tower and raised flower beds at the entryway. OPN Architects presented updates to the construction drawings at a meeting with members of the city council and library board Wednesday, Jan. 13.

With less than a month before the final drawings are released to potential bidders, OPN architects updated city council and library board members on plans for the new Williamsburg Public Library at a meeting held Jan. 13.

The $3.5 million dollar, 12,000 square foot library will include a clock tower, fireplace, coffee bar and separate areas specially designed to attract children and young adults.

OPN architects Bruce Hamus and Joe Tursi noted the young adult area has really developed over the past few months. Library building committee members and OPN architects have worked together to design a “place you can’t get anywhere else in town,” according to library board member Mary Jane Owen.

The young adult area will be surrounded on three sides by banquette seating that allows kids a comfortable seat while working on laptops that can be plugged into wall outlets directly above the seating. Tables will be positioned in the center of the space, facing a large, flat screen TV. Light fixtures will hang at different levels from an unusual grid-like ceiling to give the space a modern, but playful feel.

“It’s meant to be a fun, exciting, creative space to bring youthful patrons in that kind of difficult middle ground age, where they’re not children, but they’re not adults, either,” Hamus said. “You have a space where you can accommodate their scholastic needs, their social needs and just giving them a space that’s special just for them,” Hamus said.

However, Hamus noted the unique features of the space, including the banquette and grid-like ceiling will be among the alternate bids since those features may not fit under the cost of the base bid.


Another area of the library that will not be included in the base bid is the finishing of the lower level. Under the base bid, the library’s basement will include an elevator shaft, restrooms and spaces that could be eventually developed into a history room, meeting room and staff room. Like the young adult area, the majority of plans for the lower level will depend on the cost of the alternative bid.


The majority of the interior lighting will come from windows along the north and south walls and skylights.

Daylight harvesting censors mounted in the ceiling will adjust the amount of artificial lighting, based on the amount of light penetrating the building.

“It’s our hope and desire that we’re going to be introducing enough natural light in a controlled fashion during the day that you will not have to use very many of your artificial lighting fixtures, and those will only be there to supplement on a gloomy day or in the evening hours,” Hamus said.

Hamus also noted that nearly all interior lighting will be high performance fluorescent lighting, which helps the structure earn points toward achieving a silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) status, as required by the library’s Vision Iowa grant.

UPDATED January 21, 2010 11:44 AM

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