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Local

Architects help new Geneva library take form

Architect Patrick Callahan speaks to residents of the Geneva Public Library June 13 at a community workshop about what the new library building could look like. A third workshop is scheduled for July 19.
Architect Patrick Callahan speaks to residents of the Geneva Public Library June 13 at a community workshop about what the new library building could look like. A third workshop is scheduled for July 19.

GENEVA – During a second community workshop June 13 on what the new Geneva Public Library building should look like, architects Michael Markey and Patrick Callahan talked about the various considerations that go into such a project.

A successful referendum April 4 allows the district to build a new 57,000-square-foot facility at the site of the former Sixth Street School at 210 S. Sixth St. Voters approved a $21.8 million bond issue for the new facility.

Using topography, architects can see where the low and high points are on the two-acre site, using a digital laser map “accurate to within an eighth of an inch,” Callahan said, speaking to a crowd of about 50 people. “It’s a great tool.”

The laser map allows the architects to have a fixed reference, Callahan said.

“Where are the high and low spots? Where should the building go in terms of topography, [and] where should the building go in terms of site access?” Callahan said.

The high point is Campbell and Sixth streets and the low point is just east of Franklin and Seventh streets, Callahan said.

The new library building will be pedestrian friendly – so people can walk to it – as well as have an area for parking and a drive-up to drop off books and other materials, Callahan said.

Because residents wanted a green building that is energy efficient, one of the areas architects said they are exploring is geothermal energy for both heating and cooling.

Other green aspects could include using a permeable product for the parking lot, Callahan said.

Architects also are sensitive to the fact that the library will be in the middle of a residential neighborhood, so the design would have the majority of the parking area blocked from neighbors’ view, Callahan said.

The library would be a two-story building, with a third floor set back from the two-story portion, and with a smaller footprint, Callahan said. This would be the area where staff would have their offices and work together more efficiently, Callahan said.

It also would have a partial basement under a portion of the building to use for storage, Callahan said.

A video of the entire workshop is available on the library’s YouTube channel, https://youtu.be/1CqYT2mQ4jk.

The third community workshop will be at 7 p.m. July 19 at the library, 127 James St., Geneva. It will focus on design elements, color and materials, with architects showing three potential exterior elevations and designs for public feedback.

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