New Central Library

New Central Library Renderings


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?

  • Location of New Central Library near the Seaholm Power PlantReading 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

March 2017 Update

Contractors, consultants and City staff all focused during March on bringing the New Central Library to the level of readiness required to achieve substantial completion, one of the more significant milestones in this construction project as it signifies that life safety systems are operable and that the owner may make use of the building for upfitting purposes. At this time, the owner and consultants are fulling engaged in composing the interior punch list of items not conforming to contract specifications that the contractor must complete, including incomplete work, incorrect installations and incidental damages to finishes, materials and structures. Construction activities at the site presently include but are not limited to repairing West Avenue, finishing mesquite flooring on all levels, mechanical mezzanine testing, installation of trees, shrubbery and other landscaping elements, stairwell pressurization testing, underfloor HVAC corrections on the sixth level, and, of course, the various subcontractors “punching out”, or completing the items on their issued punch lists. As the project approaches the end of the construction phase, the series of commissioning testing activities has intensified, aimed at ensuring that mechanical, electrical, plumbing and all other building equipment systems perform according to design intent and specifications. Also this month, factory-authorized service representatives are training the owner’s designated maintenance personnel to adjust, operate and maintain the boilers, variable air volume (VAV) terminals, fan-coil units, and other air-handling units. Other ongoing training for New Central Library equipment provided to the Owner’s maintenance staff this month includes sessions for operating the low-voltage switch gears, the main utility power disconnection switchboard, panelboards, enclosed controllers and automatic capacitor bank. In other developments related to the New Central Library Project, the last details of the café lease agreement with the Elm Group are currently being finalized by the Law Department, and the updated drawings and specifications for the tenant build-out, or lease-hold improvements, are being reviewed by Library Facilities Services personnel to determine acceptability.

Art in Public Places

Birds by Christian Moeller, kinetic sculpture resembling a gigantic cuckoo clockOn 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

Cindy Jordan
Project Manager, Public Works

John Gillum
Facilities Process Manager, Austin Public Library

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