Library Building Project Update: August 2021

In March the Appleton Public Library Board of Trustees and City of Appleton Common Council selected Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) for design and engineering services for the Appleton Public Library at its current location.

City staff continue to work with SOM on the library project. The following progress has been made in the past month:

1. Concept Design

The architects continue to work through conceptual design based on building needs and feedback. As announced in July, this will be a renovation and expansion of the existing facility. The architects are working to ensure flexibility in their design to provide spaces that can serve multiple uses throughout the day to maximize efficiency of the building.

The architects were on site at the library Wednesday, August 11 and did a workshop with staff focusing on the needs in the children’s and teen areas. Additional workshops focusing on other areas of the library are being planned.

Concepts were presented to the Appleton Public Library Board of Trustees Tuesday, August 17. Concept images can be viewed at the bottom of this post. 

2. Community Input

  • The second meeting of the Library Building Project Advisory Committee was held in-person Wednesday, August 11. This meeting focused on the work that has been done since the first meeting and how their feedback has been incorporated into the conceptual design. The committee was provided an opportunity to preview the design and provide feedback that was incorporated into the updated concept being presented at the Library Board of Trustees meeting and the community meeting.
  • The architects will attend the August Library Board of Trustees meeting virtually to present on the conceptual design process.
  • A virtual community meeting will be held Tuesday, August 24 at 7 pm with the architects. This meeting will be recorded to ensure that everyone interested in viewing it will be able to when their schedule allows. The presentation will be posted on the library and city’s websites. Large boards with the concepts will be available for the public to review at the library starting Wednesday, August 25. Plans for additional methods for the community to provide input are being finalized.
  • Focus groups continue to be developed for September.

3. Additional Site Assessment Updates

Work and analysis continues on subsurface environmental investigations as well as additional inspections of the existing facility for lead and asbestos. This will help us determine the existing soil conditions and if any contamination exists from previous structures and activities.

4. Contract for Construction Manager at Risk Services

A recommendation for a construction manager (CM) will be brought to the City Council Finance Committee on Monday, August 23. The CM will serve as an advisory in both the pre and post construction phases in addition to serving as the general contractor during construction. A CM provides significant value by joining the team in the early process of design to suggest efficiencies in constructability, material choices, developing schedules, etc. to reduce overall cost and improve quality.

5. Interim Library Needs

Director Gazza has begun working with city departments and library staff to identify possible locations for the library to function during the period of construction.