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Coastal Maine Library

Library Masterplan: This project provided concept level fundraising documentation for the expansion of a coastal Maine library. The project contemplated tripling the size of the library on a small site that was expanded through the purchase of the adjacent property. It involved the preservation of the existing historic library building as well as the construction of a large addition designed to project a vision of the library’s expanding mission in the new century.

Program features included the preservation and reuse of the existing historic library structure, creation of a new children’s/young adult library and support spaces, provision of a new accessible main entrance and drop-off area for the building, construction of a new community event space, creation of a book sale space, addition of new stack and reading spaces, creation of a collaborative activity (maker) space, creation of a new computer/media room, construction of a new home for a regional historic document archive and the provision of expanded and improved administrative space. The project also included a new interior courtyard, an exterior roof garden, and a children’s garden, as well as some additional parking.

The project was notable for several reasons:

  • The project was located in a historic district and was subject to a historic review.
  • The building was located on a very small site. An adjacent property was purchased to expand the available land for the building expansion, but the site was still small and required zoning variances and approvals.
  • The library needed to be in operation during the entire construction process.
  • The addition to the building had to be constructed in such a way that the character of the historic wing of the facility was maintained. The design solution was to create an interior courtyard that incorporated the existing exterior walls of the historic library while providing a new interior focus for the use of the building.
  • The building needed an improved entrance experience that made access to the library easier for patrons with mobility handicaps.
  • The design incorporated a new multi-purpose event space for art exhibitions, poetry readings, movies, and other activities. The event space had its own separate entrance space, so it could be operated on a different schedule from that followed by the library.
  • The new facility provided space for the preservation and curation of a new archive of regional maps and other documentation for use by the community. The new archive was a key part of the facility and was expressed on the building façade.
  • The building also included a new community collaboration (maker) space designed to provide community access to computer equipment, video production facilities, fabrication equipment, and project creative space.
  • Fundraising documents were used in the development of a capital campaign and request for city funding.

The projected Construction Cost for the project was $5,500,000 and was expected to be delivered under a traditional design-bid-build contract.

Carter Architectural Design staff led, managed, and designed this project while employed by WBRC Architects/Engineers.