With the Mid-County library branch closing Nov. 18, Clayton residents will wait about a year for a new library.
The existing library will be demolished and replaced with an 18,860-square-foot building, some 2,800 square feet bigger than the current one, which was built in 1977.
Designed by Christner, the new library is budgeted to cost $8.5 million.
The new building will also have underground parking, but it is expected to be more secure and better designed. The current parking space is considered extremely tight — but required in a city that hurts for free parking. The new garage will have 47 spaces with fewer columns, wider drive lanes and square-end parking instead of diagonal.
In the past, library director Kristen Sorth has said, homeless people have taken shelter in the garage and non-patrons parked there after library hours. The new parking space is expected to be gated. A ticket will be given on entrance for patrons to have validated. The garage will only be open during library hours.
The library will also have many of the new amenities included in the 14 other branches that have been replaced or renovated per the St. Louis County Library system's 2012 master plan. The work comes mostly from a voter-approved tax increase.
Comfortable seating, better restrooms and quiet spaces are among the improvements at the Mid-County branch, 7821 Maryland Avenue. The library will also have a business center, vending machines, two quiet study rooms and an improved meeting space. There will be about 18 public computers, with some in the kids and teen areas. Unique to this branch is an acoustic art panel given to the library for a quiet room. The felt artwork was designed by Christner and paid for by a private donation.
For panoramas of the plans, click here.
After Mid-County closes at 5 p.m. Nov. 18, patrons are asked to go to the Indian Trails branch, 8400 Delport Drive, for requested materials (holds).
The Grand Glaize branch is also closed for renovation and expansion. That leaves only two other new branches planned — for Thornhill, Meramec Valley. Thornhill is expected to close in late December or early January. Meramec Valley's new building will be in a new location so the old branch won't close during construction.
Last but not least, the library system's headquarters on South Lindbergh Boulevard will eventually be replaced.