New Central Library
710 W. César Chávez St.
- 2017: Grand Opening anticipated
What is a "library for the future"?
- Flexible & Blended Spaces
- Focus on electronic delivery of information
- State-of-the-art technologies
- Community gathering place promoting a mixture of lively and contemplative spaces
- Collections displayed to encourage discovery
What will the New Central Library offer?
- Reading porches and an indoor reading room overlooking Shoal Creek and Lady Bird Lake
- Landmark public gathering atrium space adjacent to Shoal Creek
- Library café with outdoor dining adjacent to Second St. and Shoal Creek Park
- Recycled Reads gift boutique
- Gallery space featuring local and national artists
- Abundant bicycle parking
- A permanent exhibit of beloved puppets created by the Austin Public Library
May 2017 Update
At this time, City of Austin staff and the consultant architects and engineers continue to support the contractor in identifying punch list items and verifying when deficiencies are corrected. Various areas of the building have been accepted, but others are still not ready for inspections. A commissioning conference for the rooftop photovoltaic system was held on May 17, and the installation of those solar panels is now expected to be completed by July 14. Good progress has been made on completing the building’s Life Safety Systems’ testing. The Smoke Evacuation Testing has been completed, and two of the building’s three stairwells have passed the Stair Pressurization Testing. The third stairwell failed the test on one floor only, and the contractor is awaiting design modifications for this stairwell from the consultants to mitigate the test failure. Two of the building’s elevators will also require design modifications in order to pass the State Department of Licensing and Regulation inspection. The consultant architects and engineers have almost completed the necessary updates to the construction documents, but the required modifications to the building by the contractor have already begun. The issuance of a “Temporary Certificate of Occupancy to Stock” the facility with furniture and equipment once all of the Life Safety testing is completed is anticipated by June 14. Installation of shelving to facilitate the final acceptance of Life Safety Testing is already underway on Level 4 and Level 5, and Level 6 has just been made ready for shelving installation. A Temporary Certificate of Occupancy will be issued when substantial completion of the project is reached, which is currently scheduled for August 8. Staff will be able to occupy the building at that time and begin preparing it to open to the public. A date for the Grand Opening has yet to be determined, pending the successful completion of the building’s construction process.
Art in Public Places
On January 6, 2014 the Art in Public Places Panel approved the Final Design for the New Central Library Art Project titled CAW by Christian Moeller, a world-class, innovative public artist whose works often incorporate robotic elements. CAW is a 37’ kinetic sculpture resembling a gigantic cuckoo clock with a swinging pendulum which will be wall-mounted in the atrium.
An accompanying LED animation screen featuring a black bird will be mounted on the 5th level. A computer program will drive the behavior and gestures of the bird using an artificial life system. This work is inspired in part by Austin’s relation to its resident grackle population and by the strong presence black birds have in mythology and literature.
New Central Library Contacts
Project Manager, Public Works
Facilities Process Manager, Austin Public Library