After nearly 17 months of construction, two major projects that will transform the face of Downtown Arlington are nearing completion.The $34 million Downtown Library, which sits on land previously used as the public parking lot for City Hall, is on target to complete construction in February. Installation of the furniture, fixtures, and equipment is scheduled to take place during the spring. A grand opening celebration is scheduled for June.The three-story, 80,000-square-foot facility sets a new standard for public programming tailored to meet the needs of a growing and diverse population. The first floor will have customized collections, play areas, interactive activities, technology dedicated to children from birth to 12 years old. A digital creativity lab with a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) focus, computing space, and small group study rooms are provided on the second floor and aimed at teen patrons. An adult literacy area, also on the second floor, includes a large classroom and small tutoring space to support adult literacy programs and workforce development. Genealogy and history enthusiasts will enjoy the section of the third-floor housing material, displays, and computers for research.The second project, a 6,500-square-foot City Council Chamber, is also nearing completion. The first City Council meeting in the new chamber, which replaces a 35-year-old facility, is scheduled for Tuesday, March 20.Several adjacent projects are under way in anticipation of the library and Council Chamber’s grand openings:
- The intersection of Main and Pecan streets, which has been closed to traffic since June 2016 because of library construction, is scheduled to reopen by Thursday, February 1.
- The section of Main Street between Center and Pecan streets will reopen to traffic at the end of April.
- A new sidewalk around the Council Chamber building is being installed in the plaza area between the two buildings. This will allow individuals parking in the west City Hall parking lot at Abram and Pecan streets easier access to the Chamber’s main entrance on the east.
- Construction of reverse angle parking, which provides drivers with a better line of sight of bicyclists, pedestrians, and vehicles as they exit a parking space, is now available on Center and Mesquite streets around the 101 Center development.
The Friends & Foundation of the Arlington Public Library has also raised $7.1 million to date of its $8 million goal through the DREAM: CENTRAL Building the Library of Tomorrow capital campaign. To learn more, visit the Library’s Dream Central webpage or contact Andi Davis, Library Development Coordinator, at 817-459-6924.