City of Houston Central Library (Jesse Jones Library)

With a grand opening in 1976, the renovation contract marks a first in history for the 30 year old library. The project design goal is simple, exceptional customer service for library visitors. In addition, the renovation provided approximately 34,000 sq. ft. of additional space for the public. Administrative personnel were moved into the Marston Building of the Houston Public Library System, creating additional space for the Children´s and Teen´s Departments to be relocated from the Concourse Level to the 4th floor where there are windows with views of Sam Houston Park and City Hall.

Full service Architectural & Engineering for the renovation of the Central Library building for the City of Houston involved the main eight level structure and two other buildings, the Julia Ideson Building and the Marston Building. Because of limited space, changing needs, and significant services reorganization, detailed exploration and establishment of goals, objectives, and service concepts was necessary. The main Jesse H. Jones building was built before the advent of computers and although a modern building in many ways, IT infrastructure had been a haphazard and difficult adaptation. Workflow programming was a critical need in establishing more efficient space utilization and accommodating growth that had forced many staff in to sharing workstations. Blocking and stacking of departmental areas was necessary to confirm space allocations and to verify very limited budget constraints. Analysis of building systems led to a revamping of vertical transportation, a new IT backbone, and staff circulation. Departments were interviewed and participated in the programming concept development through extensive meetings, questionnaires, and on-site analysis. Sessions included Administration, Library Directors, Marketing Development, Business Services, Purchasing, Human Resources, Payroll, Public Services Staff, Materials Selection, Department Chiefs, Periodicals Stacks and Book Stacks, Current Periodicals, World Languages, Floor Reference Staff, Telephone Reference, Government Documents, IT, Houston Area Library Services, Technical Services, Circulation, Processing, Cataloging, Acquisitions, Children, Teens, Maintenance, Facilities Management, Security, Print Shop, System Storage, and Inter Library Loans. Meetings were also conducted with the City Code review staff to determine code applicability.

Design of this seven level project includes complete re-organization of all stack areas to Dewy Decimal system, rearranging of all departments from concourse level to sixth level, removing existing escalators and adding one new traction elevator, re-design of exterior plaza connecting to the old library, rearranging of all pedestrian traffic flow, complete new Information Technologies system, addition of coffee bar to the library, new security system, upgrading of electrical system, addition of civic art works, expansion of open stacks, ADA upgrades etc. Some of services provided: studies, programming, verification of existing conditions, remodeling, design, construction documentation, bidding, construction administration, all engineering services included.

Nature of Professional Services: Prime Professional, Full Service Architectural and Engineering, design, documentation and construction administration

























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