ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Plans for Alpharetta’s new library were unveiled March 18 at a special meeting before the public and Alpharetta City Council.
The 25,000-square-foot building is planned to be two stories, with extensive gardens and greenspace. Members of the library board and staff said they expect it to fit in with the forthcoming City Center project.
“We’ve been working closely with the city officials and their architects,” said Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann. “This day has been a long time coming.”
She called the designs a “beautiful concept.”
Tim Fish, with architecture firm Cooper Carry, walked the audience of about 20 people through the new plans.
“[The library] is tucked into the corner of the site,” Fish said “This saved trees and greenspace. We tried to wrap the building around those [trees] to best make use of the site.”
Because the site is sloping away from the road, it was decided to make the building two stories. This works with the topography and lowers the overall footprint of the building. With 12,500 square feet, the library sits on three acres of land donated to the library board by Alpharetta specifically for a new library. The city plans for formal gardens to occupy the space between the library building and the city hall.
“We tried to take the library and the City Center and knit them together,” said Fish.
Fish and his team have used the architecture of the City Center – classical and traditional – and incorporated that into the design plans.
“We tried to make sure it’s consistent with that architecture,” Fish said.
The upper level of the building will house the main entrance from the street as well as meeting space, the adult reading room and the teen room. The lower area will house the children’s area and a 150-seat auditorium, which will be open outside of library hours.
There are only 35 parking spots on the site, which Fish explained as in keeping with the smaller, greener footprint. A parking deck across the street will have 100 additional spaces set aside for the library. There will also be some on-street parking.
The building will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (L.E.E.D.) certified.
Resident Don Nasur voiced concern about whether there is money to fill the library with books. Library Interim Director Anne Haimes confirmed there was money in the budget for new books in the libraries.
Nasur said he was otherwise happy with the designs.
“I am delighted to see the cooperation of the library and the city,” Nasur said. “These designs look great.”
The library is part of a 2008 bond referendum that was passed to build eight new libraries in Fulton County and renovate a further two. Among the improved libraries are a new Milton library and an east Roswell library.
Construction is expected to begin by the fall of this year.
Questions and comments are still being taken for input on the library designs. Those interested can go to the Atlanta Fulton County Library System website and leave a comment at www.afplweb.com or see the designs at the current Alpharetta Library by March 25.