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Huntley Area Public Library

Wold Architects and Engineers was hired by Huntley Area Library District (HALD) to undergo a predesign process to undertake an addition and renovation of the existing community library building. Wold has a long connection to the Huntley Community based on its work with the park district, school district and being home to one of Wold's lead architects. Huntley envisioned a community-based library that acted as a destination community hub where adults, teens and children could gather and use both the physical spaces and tools offered to create, gather, learn and make connections.

Huntley Area Library District depended on a successful referendum to fund the new library addition. After several failed attempts, Huntley involved Wold in the referendum planning, ultimately leading to a community process. Wold recognized the past referendum campaigns failed due to a lack of community engagement and an understanding of the 'needs' and the 'benefits' that would come with a library facility. By engaging all staff and various representatives from the community to create a vision, the community understood the library's importance in the community, and the referendum ultimately passed. Wold also worked with Huntley to receive additional grants to fund the project.

Huntley desires a library that engages the community with programs and spaces that offer its members a place to learn, create and connect with friends and family. The building in progress will provide office space for the library administration, volunteers and technical services groups. Wold engaged staff and community members to understand the district's wants and needs through an Innovation Day. The stakeholders wanted programmatic capabilities for adults, teens and children that incorporated Huntley's important history. The addition and renovation will be designed to support the existing contextual building design and historic features.

In order to meet the unavailable community's needs, Wold also designed a music studio and maker's space. The music studio gives the community members a place to write and record music and videos, while the maker's space offers an open area to create arts and various crafts. The library will also feature multiple programs to teach its members how to use Powerpoint, YouTube and other virtual programs that support the music and maker's studios and the ever-increasing virtual learning environment.

The addition also features a new drive-up service window that will support increased flexibility, contactless customer service and easier access to materials for the community members. There will be an outdoor path connecting the library to the neighboring park expanding the usable space for the community members. Furthermore, there will be a computer lab and flex community meeting/program rooms that can be walled off, creating three separate rooms or opened up to create one large meeting space. The children's library has been designed to serve as a destination for children. The design features bright, engaging colors and allows children to play and learn without using quiet voices. Wold worked with HALD to coordinate comprehensive furniture and technology packages to support the new and improved library features.

The architects and engineers at Wold have cherished the opportunity to work with the Huntley community on another project that will serve the community. The stakeholders' passion and dedication to create the perfect gathering space for the community are shown in every detail of the future library. The project is set to be completed in November 2021.

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