Tulsa City-County Library Unveils Final Design Schematics for Central Library Renovation

Concept of view from 5th St Plaza

The Tulsa City-County Library has announced final plans for renovating Central Library in downtown Tulsa.

The $47.8 million project is scheduled to begin in September and will last approximately two years. The plan calls for functional and safety improvements as well as entirely new features to better serve the changing needs of customers.

“The new Central Library will be one of Tulsa’s crown jewels,” said CEO Gary Shaffer. “We believe libraries change lives and we are eager to provide Tulsans of all ages with a variety of new services that empower them to access, create and share information in ways that propel their personal and professional lives.”

The library has retained Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle to lead the project. The award-winning architecture and interior design firm has specific expertise with libraries and also works with office, cultural, higher education and residential clients.

Working alongside MS&R is Crafton Tull. This multidiscipline professional services firm is providing local representation for MS&R, design work for the new parking garage and structural consulting services for the entire project.

Currently the building’s infrastructure is both outdated and worn, with deficient mechanical and electrical systems, inefficient use of space, ineffective traffic patterns and in some areas, use of materials now considered hazardous.

“Central Library is due for a major overhaul,” Shaffer said. “At nearly 50 years old, the building desperately needs improvements to bring it into the modern era while providing greater flexibility for future needs.”

New Features and Areas for Users

  • Main entrance off newly opened West Fifth Street
  • Multilevel parking garage for approximately 130 cars
  • Café with outdoor seating and trees for shade
  • Garden district for outdoor events and programs, featuring a screen for presentations and ability for secure access
  • Event space with hearing-assist technology for public programs and presentations
  • A new auditorium/education center with hearing-assist technology
  • A technology-intensive making lab allowing for people of all ages to create both digital and physical items
  • Small and large group study & meeting rooms
  • Various additional improvements such as increased reader seating and lounge furniture

Additionally, Fifth Street will be extended to provide access to a new Aloft Hotel being constructed to the west. This extension is NOT part of the budget for the renovation of Central Library.

Functional and Safety Improvements

  • HVAC system
    • New high-efficiency, state-of-the-art boilers & chillers
    • Chilled beam induction HVAC system
    • Reuse of current cooling tower and cold-plate heat exchanger
  • Electrical system
    • New main distribution panels and subpanels to replace obsolete, original equipment
    • New high-efficiency florescent and LED lighting to replace obsolete florescent and incandescent lighting
    • Lighting controls integrated into building management system
    • Use of daylight harvesting and occupancy sensors 
    • Lighting of book stacks so areas are not over-illuminated
    • Raised-floor access system for electrical and data distribution to offer better flexibility of spaces
  • Other Systems
    • Rainwater harvesting/storage system for use in lawn irrigation
    • New building energy management system
    • Modern fire alarm system
    • Low water consumption restroom fixtures
    • New windows featuring insulated glass and thermally broken aluminum frames
    • Additional elevator for public use
    • Additional roof insulation and new roof
  • Targeting LEED Silver Certification

About Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle

Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd., (MS&R) is an award winning architecture and interior design firm committed to excellence. Since 1981, the firm has produced work of enduring value: buildings that are expressly right for their time and place and that culturally and physically age gracefully. MS&R’s projects are diverse in type, size and location, with specific depth of experience serving library, office, cultural, higher education and residential clients. The firm has earned a national reputation for both designing exceptional new spaces and, through preservation, adaptive reuse and renovation, discovering innovative ways to reuse buildings. More information is available at www.msrltd.com.

About Crafton Tull

2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of Crafton Tull and Associates.  The company has grown from a two-man civil engineering and survey firm in Northwest Arkansas to a multidisciplined architectural, engineering and survey organization with 320 employees in six offices in Arkansas and Oklahoma.  Crafton Tull’s fully integrated design approach provides architectural, interior design, planning, civil engineering, surveying, structural engineering, and mechanical and electrical engineering services.  The Journal Record designated Crafton Tull as the No. 1 firm in Tulsa in 2011, and it has been recognized by Zweig White as one of its “Hot Firms” for revenue growth and by Engineering News Record as one of the top 100 firms in the country for Building Information Modeling utilization. More information is available at www.craftontull.com.

About Tulsa City-County Library

The Tulsa City-County Library’s current Central Library building, located at 400 Civic Center in downtown Tulsa, opened in 1965 as part of a campus of civic buildings surrounding a hardscape plaza. The 135,000-square-foot structure was designed by Charles W. Ward with Joseph Koberling. For more information, visit www.tulsalibrary.org or contact the AskUs Hotline at 918-549-7323.

Photos from Central Library Building Plans Unveiled presentation, held Feb. 19:

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