The City of Round Rock unveiled the design for its new public library at the City Council meeting on Thursday, May 14.
The new building, which was designed by PGAL, Inc., is expected to be approximately 65,000 square feet and three stories, with an adjacent 300-stall parking garage. With additional space, the library will expand its core services to children, teens and adults, as well as technology and more types of meeting spaces and program rooms.
The new library will feature an area for quiet work/study on the third floor, classrooms on the first floor, outdoor spaces on each level, study rooms on the second and third floors, technology areas, dedicated children’s story time rooms, early learning areas, space for activities and crafts, space for collaboration and flexible spaces for programs and collections.
Outdoor areas are an integral feature of the new design. A public courtyard on the first level features a flexible artificial turf lawn with lounge furniture, outdoor tables, chairs and benches for visitors to enjoy year-round. Festive lighting will be strung between the library and garage, adding to the feeling of a vibrant and accessible space that will be equally beautiful in the evenings. The rooftop will feature a discovery garden that features masonry tiles, modular sustainably harvested wood decking modules, rubberized play surface tiles and artificial turf featuring a labyrinth patterning of grasses. The rooftop garden will be used for scheduled programs, passive activities and community events. A screen on the parking garage will accommodate movie nights or community gatherings.
In November 2013, a majority of Round Rock voters approved the use of $23.2 million in bond proceeds to build a new main library and renovate the existing library or build a new branch library. Parks, fires stations and the police and fire training facility are the other bond projects that were approved by voters. Feedback received from the community showed strong support to locate the main library as close to downtown as possible.
In January 2014, $1.5 million in bonds were issued for land, design and engineering. In February 2015, the Council announced its unanimous decision to wait on selecting the site for the new library. The City considered building the new library at 500 N. Mays St., east of C.D. Fulkes Middle School; however, in April 2019, City Council approved a $4.2 million purchase of land situated on the block directly north of the current library’s location.
The new location is bordered by Austin and Liberty Avenues to the north and south, and Sheppard and Lampasas Streets to the east and west. Officials expect the new location to have fewer design limitations than the previously considered property, which had the potential to experience more traffic flow issues due to its proximity to Mays Street, Brushy Creek and the middle school.
Previous to the COVID-19 pandemic, the library was averaging more than 30,000 visitors on a monthly basis. The City of Round Rock expects to maintain ownership of the current library building at this time. The expected completion for construction of the new library is November 2023.
Visit roundrocktexas.gov/library for updates on the project.