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Lawrence, Kansas Library Remodel

Lawrence LibraryAs kids we’re taught not to color on the walls, but that’s exactly what locals did when saying goodbye to the old Lawrence Library. They wrote their stories and memories on the walls, to soon be torn down and replaced with new ones. The walls came down, but the stories would remain.

The original Lawrence Public Library was built in the 1970’s. It was beloved and well-used despite being too small, ugly and energy inefficient with limited parking.

Libraries are made to stimulate the mind and encourage creativity. PEC understands the importance of a place like this. PEC joined architects at Gould Evans in creating the new and improved Lawrence Public Library. PEC provided mechanical, electrical and plumbing designs for the library and parking garage.

Today, the updated library is complete with various sizes of conference rooms, a computer lab, a local history research room and a recording studio. One goal for the library remodel was to establish an environment that encouraged innovative and creative thinking. It was meant to be both a social and educational space.

“One great thing about this remodel was the amount of local companies, such as PEC, that worked on it,” said Brad Allen, Director of the Lawrence Public Library, “Many professionals put their heart into the project, which you can see from the design.”

Inside the library, the focus was on energy efficiency. Day lighting was incorporated around the perimeter of the building and with sky-lights throughout. Sun sensors and controls were installed to allow dimming of artificial lighting when sufficient natural lighting was available.

LED lighting was installed in the parking garage. PEC used a unique fixture which made it possible to aim light. The garage is now safe and well lit, yet doesn’t project brightness and glare into the neighborhood adjacent.

Before the remodel, photos were captured of goodbye messages left on the walls by the public. When the new library made its debut, locals were thrilled to see some of their memories spared. The messages were permanently reproduced onto pillars in the library.

“It was great being able to talk to folks in the community during design and construction about what we were doing,” said PEC Principal, Jarrod Mann, “Seeing so much excitement from locals about the things we were able to achieve was the best part.”

Because of the close proximity between the Lawrence Public Library and PEC’s Lawrence office, our staff was immediately responsive to issues that came up during construction. And now that it’s open, we may go learn a little more.

Imagine more – a mission accomplished with help from PEC.  

To view more pictures, visit Gould Evans website: http://www.gouldevans.com/portfolio/lawrence-public-library