With a new look, new space and new features, the Frisco Public Library is bigger and better than ever.

City staff and representatives welcomed hundreds of residents into the library's new space at 8000 Dallas Parkway with a ribbon cutting ceremony and all-day open house preview on March 4. The library will be fully operational on March 5, according to a city news release.

The day’s festivities began with speeches from Mayor Jeff Cheney, Deputy City Manager Henry Hill and Frisco Public Library Director Shelley Holley to formally introduce residents to the new library.

“What an exciting day for this community,” Mayor Jeff Cheney said. “We're just so excited to open the doors and share this dream and vision with you.”

Located in the former Beal Building, once the home of a rocket factory, the library now boasts more than three times the space it had at its previous location inside the George A. Purefoy Municipal Center.

At the [library’s] groundbreaking, we said how fitting it is to repurpose a rocket factory into a library,” Holley said. “After all, rockets store the fuel to power the exploration of the stars and libraries store the fuel to inspire the imagination, power the intellect and spark curiosity.”

Repurposing the space was a $62 million project funded by a 2019 bond that made history as the biggest single item built by the city, Hill said.

“We're excited to show you what a library can be,” Holley said.

The centerpiece of the two-story library is Rexy, a full-size female T-Rex skeleton model towering above guests’ heads at more than 20 feet tall.

Walking under Rexy’s legs leads guests to half of the 158,068 square-feet space.

A storytime room with illuminated clouds and tiny stars on the ceiling, a children's area with large chairs and colorful wildlife on the walls, a Mad Lab for building robots and racing cars, dozens of reading pods and more are all contained on the first level alone.

The second level leans into technology and quiet studies with a computer lab, makerspace and virtual reality stations scattered around aisles of books, kits and conference rooms. The library contains more than 284,000 physical and digital items in its collection, according to the city news release.

Going onto the second floor is the only way of reaching the terrace, a covered outdoor balcony with spinning-top chairs, a handful of small tables and a view of both the outside city and library’s interior.

Attendees Haley and Dale Watkins, 7 and 42 years old respectively, said they had been looking forward to the library for months like so many other residents.

“It’s fun,” Haley, 7, said. “[The children’s area] is like the old one, but in the old one, you have to be up to five and younger. But in this one, any kids can play.”

Apart from exploring the new space, attendees also could grab a Frisco Public Library shirt, tote bag and customized M&Ms with Rexy’s logo stamped on each candy. Guests were also introduced to the first floor’s bookstore, a new way to bring home books and help fund the library, Holley said.

“That money comes back to us in enhancements of library services,” Holley said.

While the grand opening did not include all of the library’s features, such as the adding toys and lab tools to the children’s areas, it did allow guests to use the self-checkout kiosks. Some guests were seen checking out stacks of books only one hour after the doors opened.