On Wednesday work began on the renovation and expansion of the Belle Isle Library in northwest Oklahoma City, the first major remodeling for the distinctive mid-century modern building since it opened in 1963.
The library will be about 10,000 square feet bigger when the renovation and expansion are finished. It will have more modern amenities while retaining the original elements of its unique design.
“I’m excited about this renovation and expansion,” said Metropolitan Library System Executive Director Julie Ballou. “The Belle Isle Library is one of our busiest libraries, and a remodel has been needed for years. Adding a much larger meeting room, children and teen spaces will be especially popular with the community.”
The library will operate from a temporary facility at 3621 Northwest Expressway from mid-August until the project’s scheduled completion in early 2022.
Wynn Construction, the same contractor that originally built the library nearly 60 years ago, earned the contract for the renovation and expansion.
“We love working with the City and being a part of our thriving community growth. We hope the community will enjoy this library for the next 57 years as much as they have the past 57 years.” said company President Rick Thompson.
The new library will also have new furniture, new computers and more parking.
Bright colors, floor-to-ceiling windows in some spaces, and modern materials will make use of natural light freshen the library’s look and feel.
The $5.5 million project is funded by the bond package included in the Better Streets, Safer City program.