Construction on a new library in Mesquite is set to begin in January 2017 according to Stephen Rice, General Services Director for the Clark County Library District after architectural plans were approved by Mesquite City Council at its meeting Tuesday, July 12.
Sean Coulter, an architect for the district, told the council the facility will have 16,000 square feet of programmed space with a low profile and streamlined look.
The new building will occupy approximately 1.6 acres of a barren lot located on the corner of Mesquite Boulevard and Desert Road. The remaining 1.3 acres of the area closest to the boulevard will remain city property.
A paved crosswalk on West First North Street will connect the new library building to the existing library which will be converted to a learning center. “That will create a campus feel between the two buildings,” Coulter said. There will also be a public plaza with on-street parking between the two facilities. The current bike path along the Town Wash trail will be slightly re-routed to allow room for the new building.
A drive-up window will allow patrons to drop off and pick up books and other materials without having to get out of their vehicles. “We’ll have a café associated with the drive-up window where people can purchase a cup of coffee or other beverages,” Coulter said.
The new library will have a community room that will accommodate about 100 people and open up to the plaza. The room can stay open for the public’s use after the library closes and will have access to restrooms and the café.
While library officials estimated last year that the new facility would cost about $7 million that dollar figure was scaled back to about $4.8 million according to library officials. The estimate includes renovations on the old building.
Dr. Ronald Heezen, Executive Director of the Library District, told the Mesquite Local News earlier that tax issues have limited the amount of funds the district has to spend on new facilities. He also said an art gallery is planned for the new building with exhibits supplied by the district. “We will coordinate with the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery on the exhibits,” Heezen said.
The new library will have large windows on the north and south sides to allow natural light to filter into the building. “We want to build a LEED-certified building,” Coulter told the council.
In addition to approving the architectural plans, the council approved separating ownership of the 3.1 acre lot between the Library District and the city and adopted an interlocal agreement between the two entities.
The city does not have any official plans for the remaining 1.3 acres of land of which it retains ownership.