On Jan. 25, Round Rock City Council approved PGAL Inc. to provide architectural and engineering services for Round Rock’s new public library, allowing the design process to officially begin.
The current public library, located at 216 E. Main St., opened in 1980 when the population in Round Rock was 12,740, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As of February, the city reports a population of 110,685 residents. That growth has placed pressure on the library, which Michelle Cervantes, director of library services, said is in need of more space.
The library reported 389,930 customer visits in 2017. In 2011, the library reported 301,084 total customer visits.
“We’re trying to meet the needs of the growing community and it just calls for a larger facility. That way we can help more people and provide services to them,” Cervantes said.
In November 2013, Round Rock voters approved the use of $23.2 million in bond funds to build the new library, which will be constructed at 500 N. Mays Street, east of C.D. Fulkes Middle School. The 60,000-square-foot new library will replace the current 43,000-square-foot facility.
Cervantes said she hopes to use the 17,000 square feet of additional space to dedicate more room to children’s programming, youth services, art displays, storage, and collaboration and study areas. Part of the plans could also include larger study rooms and classrooms.
Cervantes also pointed out that there is no dedicated parking for the current library, which shares parking spots with other downtown businesses. One crucial element of the new library, a 300-stall parking garage, will remedy this problem.
Cervantes said that one of the reasons the city selected PGAL is their experience with parking garage design. The firm designed the University of Texas east campus parking garage as well as a garage at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
PGAL also worked on the public library in Seguin, which was completed in 2016. Cervantes said she and other city officials toured the library and spoke to the library director about their process with PGAL. The success of that project, Cervantes said, was one of the reasons they chose to work with PGAL.
Cervantes said city officials are meeting with PGAL to lay out their needs for the new library and gather data before the design process begins, which could take between 12 and 18 months. After the designs are complete, construction of the library will take another 12 to 18 months to complete.
If all goes according to plan, the new library should open in 2022. Plans for the future of the existing library building have not been determined.