Local media received a tour of the renovation progress of the Knoxville Public Library on Tuesday.
The newly renovated space will include a large community room, two book drop-offs, a designated staff work area, offices, conference rooms, high ceilings, designated reading spaces for younger children and adolescents, study rooms, an energy efficient cooling/heating system, projection screens and a kitchen area, among other updates.
Library Board President Dave Garcia stated the community and conference rooms will be an important asset to local businesses, providing a space for them to hold meetings and public events.
Jason Cooper with FEH Design said there have been a few challenges during the renovation process, including weather and unforeseen conditions related to construction.
“They got us off to a slower start than we wanted to,” said Cooper.
The renovation project started in 2012. However, Cooper stated he is excited about the finished product.
“I really enjoy seeing the community’s response after the library is built,” said Cooper. “We do a lot of library projects, and it’s such an important part of the community. It has a lot of community pride, and getting people back into libraries and showing that they’re still relevant is important … They really do offer the community a lot of assets. That’s something that we pride ourselves in.”
Garcia stated they are hoping the renovation will be completed by July 2019.
Emily Hawk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.