In 2015, population growth and improvements to the Village of Waunakee’s quaint Main Street District reignited a long-standing conversation regarding the need for a new, forward-thinking library in the rapidly growing community near Madison, Wisconsin.
A brownfield site, adjacent to the village’s Main Street District, along a creek, and surrounded by a tree line, was selected as the future home of the library. Sitting in the center of the site, the building will consist of two rectangular bars, including the main library and a community center. Features include a bike path and pedestrian walkway will be part of the campus.
The vision for the new 40,000-square-foot library — which evolved from multiple visioning sessions with library representatives, Village officials, and community members — is for an open, flexible two-story design that contains an abundance of community space, collaborative areas, maker space, and meeting rooms. Using data and best practices gleaned from OPN’s portfolio of more than 40 public libraries, the design team refine the program to balance needs and wants within the Village’s budget.
There are spaces for social learning and meetings, a “living room” for information groups such as book clubs, as well as designated areas for young adults and families. A 2,400-foot community room that seats 115 to 200 people can open to an outdoor patio. Other features include a nook, a story-time room, an office suite for staff, a history hall that tells the story of Waunakee’s past and a fireside place.
A large monumental staircase will take visitors up to the second level. Near the main lobby, coffee machines will be available for community use. Instead of circulation desks, there are kiosk areas for staff to interact with the public.
The timeless design, with its tall windows, provides good natural light. A green roof also is part of the concept.
Demolition of the existing structures and safe remediation of the blighted former Waunakee Alloy site began in September 2017. A groundbreaking is planned spring 2018 with a tentative opening in summer 2019.