With construction on the inside about 80 % complete, the modern yet warm style of the new Gulf Gate Library is beginning to show through.
The outside of the 25,800 square-foot building is complete; now, construction and electrical crews are working inside to paint the walls and run wire through the building.
The library design focuses on natural lighting with large, open windows and a warm, comfortable feel with a combination of wood and brick accents. The library’s feel will foster a “living space” atmosphere, said Sarabeth Kallajian, the director of Sarasota County Libraries.
“We’re going for a modern craftsmen design,” said Amy Weber, the architect of Howard Jolly Architects of Sarasota. “It’s a great feeling.”
There won’t be more shelving in this library than the old one. Many of the library resources are now electronic, Kallajian said, with e-books, music downloads and audio recordings being some of the county libraries' most popular items. There will still be plenty of “real” books for the more traditional patron. Two gardens will welcome the public to experience the library outside, and there’s even space for a possible café.
The two floors house different areas: a children’s room, technology lab and “living space” area with seating on the first floor, and a teen center complete with a video gaming area and study rooms on the second.
After almost a year of construction, the project is set to be complete by November or December of this year, and the library will hopefully be opening to the public by late January 2015, said Kallajian. Construction for the library cost $7.69 million.
“I like the angles, and the way the spaces come together,” Kallajian said. “We think it’s coming along really well.”