By EMILY RAMSEY
COMING SOON: Mike Leitch, capital projects manager for the Tulsa City-County Library, discusses the new features of the Central Library at 5th Street and Denver Avenue. The library has been undergoing renovations since early 2014 and is expected to reopen in summer 2016. (See story on page 16.)
EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers
Work began in early 2014 on renovations to downtown Tulsa’s Central Library, with an expected reopening in summer 2016.
The updated library will feature new technology and other features to improve the customer experience and allow for greater energy efficiency.
The building will use the energy-efficient air distribution Active Chilled Beams system to provide heat and air conditioning for the facility.
Chilled beams use chilled and hot water as the main energy transport, thus improving overall efficiency compared to a traditional air heating/cooling system.
Ceiling-mounted induction-activated chilled beams require only enough ducted air to handle ventilation and humidity requirements. This system will keep ductwork sizes to a minimum and allow ceiling spaces to remain high.
Chilled beams were developed in Norway in the 1970s and are standard practice in Europe.
The library’s main entrance will be on the street level on the south side of the building, facing 5th Street.
Immediately inside the front doors will be a coffee shop and an area to pick up books placed on hold.
There will also be a movable partition that will close off the library and allow the public to enter those areas during the library’s non-operating hours.
The library’s first, or street level, floor will include its children’s section, open work space and a maker’s lab with 3D printers.
On the second floor will be fiction and nonfiction collections, staff areas, study cubes, including glass study rooms on the east and west sides of the building, and public access to the library’s south-facing balcony. The north-facing balcony will be open to library staff only.
The balcony hasn’t been open to the public for a very long time, says Mike Leitch, capital projects manager for Tulsa City-County Library. “We thought, this is wasted square footage so why not do something cool?”
The library will offer close to 20 study rooms that can be reserved with a valid library card.
The glass study rooms are equipped with insulated glass and low-e film which diminish heat and air and provide more stability, says Leitch.
On the library’s third floor will be the research center, including a room that will hold the library’s Tulsa and Oklahoma collection, staff work spaces and a computer lab.
Raised floors throughout the library will allow more convenient and greater access to electrical outlets, with wiring that runs underneath the floor.
The library’s two floors below ground will include staff offices consolidated on one floor, as opposed to scattered throughout the library as they were previously, Schusterman Learning and Creative Center and Aaronson Auditorium.
To the west of the library will be a 143-space parking garage, which will include parking spaces for low-emitting, fuel-efficient cars and infrastructure for electric car charging stations.
In between the parking garage and library will be a green space equipped with a large display screen to allow for outdoor family movie nights.
The library’s stormwater management plan will allow the library to infiltrate, collect and reuse runoff water or evapotranspiration to irrigate the garden and surrounding landscaping.
Also, along the entire Fifth Street entrance, pervious pavers will be used to capture stormwater into the library’s stormwater collection system.