As Ankeny has grown, city leaders have noted a need for a larger, more modern library for the community.
OPN Architects was hired in 2010 to explore designs for a civic building for the City of Ankeny that would house City Hall and Kirkendall Public Library in the 1200 acre Praire Trail development. The vision for the 80-acre Town Center is built on the model of traditional Iowa town squares. Anchoring one side of the “square” will be a new structure to house the public library and city offices. The mixed use facility incorporating civic, commercial, residential, educational and retail components into a walkable, sustainable city center.
As part of the process, OPN engaged with all vested stakeholders in a series of public meetings and presentations. OPN presents concepts, collects feedback from each group, incorporates it into the plans, and redistributes the results to all participants.
A facilities needs study was conducted in 2014, but due to funding, the project was shelved until this year, when the city renewed efforts to bring a bond referendum to voters to fund the library in conjunction with civic trust funds, and capital reserve funds.
OPN was brought back on board to design Kirkendall Public Library, which will also house the city council chambers. The design team and key decision makers are looking to modern library trends, like makerspaces and community rooms, to inform the design of the new facility. Ankeny residents passed a bond on May 2, 2017 with 71.85 percent in favor of funding the project. Currently in schematic design, the building could be complete as early as 2019.