PHOTO GALLERY: Richardson City Council tours City Hall, public library to scope out potential bond projects

Council members listened as library staff explained needed renovations and upgrades. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact Newspaper)
Council members listened as library staff explained needed renovations and upgrades. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact Newspaper)

Council members listened as library staff explained needed renovations and upgrades. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Mayor Paul Voelker tours the library's basement, which houses important utilities, such as the water system. It is in need of upgrades and maintenance, according to Shawn Poe, the city's capital projects director of engineering. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Richardson Friends of the Library use the basement storage room to house books for book sales. Library staff wants to expand this space, they said on the tour. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact Newspaper)
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A lack of outlets in the library make it hard for people to use laptops around the building, library staff said. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The reference department is currently being used to quarantine books after they have been checked out. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The basement program room in the library is used by several different groups, according to library staff. Before the pandemic, the room could fit 150 people. Now, because of social distancing, only about 30 people can be in the room in the same time, according to library staff. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The teen department is one of the most cramped areas in the library and could use more space, according to library staff. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The large print section of the library is popular with older residents, Circulation Supervisor Jennifer Davis said. With so many books housed in this section, the bottom shelf now has to be used, which makes it difficult for older residents to reach books, she said. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Many hallways used by staff in City Hall are cramped and some are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to Shawn Poe, the city's capital projects director of engineering. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Grand Hall in the Civic Center needs updates so that it can better accommodate different uses, according to staff. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact Newspaper)
Staff in Richardson is beginning to delve deeper into possible renovation projects that could be included in a potential 2021 bond, City Manager Dan Johnson said.

City Council toured the public library and City Hall on Oct. 12. The event kicked off a slew of scheduled facility tours that will look at needs within the city, Johnson said.

“Think about the needs of library patrons in the community, in terms of the building, and then considerations with our COVID-19 protocols, as well as enhancing security,” Assistant City Manager Shanna Sims-Bradish told council members during the tour.

The library has several issues that need to be addressed, including sealant and caulking issues around the perimeter of the building, said Shawn Poe, the city's capital projects director of engineering. The facility also lacks adequate electrical outlets and storage space to accommodate patrons and groups who use the library regularly, according to library staff.

City Hall is overly cramped and is not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act in several areas of the buildings, Poe added.


Council members are expected to tour several more city facilities over the coming months.

At the close of the tour, Mayor Paul Voelker said he looked forward to exploring new ways to enhance various city departments.

“I think my takeaway was we have some good bones, but it may be time to put a little meat on those bones,” he said.
By Makenzie Plusnick
Makenzie graduated from Tarleton State University in 2019 with a degree in communications. While in school, she interned at the Weatherford Democrat and was editor of Texan News Service, a news outlet at Tarleton. She enjoys true crime podcasts, riding horses, and spending time with her dog.


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