Libraries, *On the Boards

Holdrege Public Library

The Holdrege Library Board commissioned BVH Architecture to analyze their existing library conditions, engage with Phelps County patrons to understand the community’s needs, explore planning options, and prepare cost analysis studies for the future of the Holdrege Area Public Library. 

The five month feasibility study process started with an extensive analysis of the existing 10,400 sf facility that was funded by Andrew Carnegie and constructed in 1907. Over the last 115 years, renovations and additions have been made to accommodate the ever evolving needs of library users. During this investigative process, the existing facility was deemed inadequate for future library use due to deferred maintenance issues, current code deficiencies, and operational deficiencies for a 21st Century library. 

BVH Architecture engaged with the Phelps County community members through educational workshops, online surveys, community focus groups, and interactive booth activities. Hundreds of community members participated, resulting in candid feedback to inform library programming and square footage needs for the future library. Several community partnerships were also identified, presenting design opportunities to share valuable real-estate and generate city revenue for years to come. 

The result of the collaborative BVH engagement process is a 56,000 sf multi-tenant facility that houses a public library, daycare, and local community college. The proposed building is situated within a city park with orientations and proportions designed to maximize exterior views and interior daylighting. Ample outdoor space is provided for outdoor programming, community gathering, interactive play, and relaxation. The accessible, on grade facility strategically shares programs between the library and two tenants and can be fully secured for after hours community room access.

The library spaces were uniquely crafted to accommodate the needs and desires of the community and include a community tech bar, a variety of meeting and study rooms, a community living room, a culinary teaching kitchen, a book mobile garage, an indoor play zone, and a flexible community room that can accommodate up to 240 people.

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