Athens, Ala. (March 30, 2016) – The Athens-Limestone Public Library project is a holistic renovation of an abandoned and outdated grocery store building revitalized and repurposed as a new Public Library facility. The design incorporates sustainable design principles through energy efficiency, clerestory daylighting, south and west façade shading trellises, and overall building reuse. Outside the building, the parking lot was reworked to improve circulation and accessibility.
Inside its 37,900 square feet of building area, the facility contains almost 25,000 square feet of public spaces including dedicated children’s area, teen area, local history room, computer lab, used book store, and a snack/coffee area named the “Whimsy Tree Cafe”. The open floor plan in the main library space has numerous seating areas and study carrels for individual or groups, including multiple private study rooms. On the main axis of the library there is a large circulation desk and public computer area.
The library is wired with advanced fiber optic technology for super high speed internet and wireless networking. The large and small meeting rooms provide a space for gatherings and events and revenue stream for the Library. The Library staff was very pleased to have additional square footage for their back of house offices and storage in the new facility. After extensive design, planning, fundraising, and two phases of construction, the Athens-Limestone Public Library had their formal grand opening on January 24th, 2015.