Library Building Project Update: March 2021

The City of Appleton Common Council has awarded a contract to Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) for design and engineering services for the Appleton Public Library at its current location.

Last December, a draft Request for Proposal (RFP) was presented to the Library Board of Trustees and City Council. The input received from those meetings, as well as from a public listening session, was incorporated into the document and an RFP for design and engineering services for a new or remodeled library was released with submissions due early February.

Eleven proposals were received and distributed to the review committee (see PDFs below) - composed of representatives of the City of Appleton Common Council, Appleton Public Library Board of Trustees, Friends of Appleton Public library, and City of Appleton staff. Proposals were evaluated according to the terms in the RFP and firms with the top proposals were interviewed. Following interviews, reference calls, and discussion among the panel, the firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was unanimously selected by the review team to be recommended for award of the contract. The proposal also received the full support of the Appleton Public Library Board of Trustees.

“SOM demonstrated an understanding and approach to the project that illustrated their depth of experience, knowledge in library design and construction, listening skills, and importance of garnering meaningful public input and building trust throughout the process,” said Dean Gazza, Director of Parks, Recreation and Facilities Management. “In addition, they have significant experience in building re-use, equity and inclusion, sustainability, technology, operational efficiency, and many important key factors necessary for a successful library.”

Upon hiring SOM for architectural and engineering services, numerous input-gathering sessions will be conducted during the design process. These sessions will incorporate as much information as possible toward all aspects of the design.

"We are committed to engaging a wide range of voices and an inclusive process to create a design reflective of your diverse community," said Adam Semel and Scott Duncan, SOM Partners. "Listening to you and understanding your goals as a community will be the driving force of our design — we won't begin designing until we hear from you."

More information, including opportunities for public input, will be provided in the coming weeks. To stay up-to-date on the Appleton Public Library building project and upcoming public input opportunities, please visit