Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

April 14, 2010

Light reading

Library’s new open look taking shape

Kokomo — The Kokomo-Howard County Main Library looks like Swiss cheese.

Massive holes have been cut in all four exterior walls and through two floors in the center of the building.

Steel framing and drywall outline new, curved interior walls, and brand new ductwork shines from the ceiling.

Skids of acoustic tile were brought in Tuesday, meaning it won’t be long until the new wiring, plumbing and ductwork are all covered by clean, new ceilings.

Everything is taking shape, moving toward an Oct. 1 opening.

“It’s the openness and all of the light in the new building,” library director Charles Joray said. “That’s what will really make it different and very pleasant. It’s the same effect the South Branch has.”

The most obvious changes to be seen now are on the outside of the building. From the sidewalk to the roof, four openings now loom, the brown bricks cut out and hauled away.

Tuesday, workers had installed a steel girder, rising at an angle from the aperture on the south side of the building.

The girder will serve as a guide for a series of thick glass panels, which will form a single plane rising from sidewalk to roof. The glass will tilt away from the building as it rises, until it’s more than 2 feet away from the exterior wall at the top.

Inside the building, the second floor will extend out so people can walk right up to the glass, and have the sensation of almost floating above the street.

The effect won’t be quite as dramatic perhaps on the east and west sides of the building, where glass paneling, flush with the existing wall, will frame new entryways on the ground floor.

On the second floor, however, above the new entryways, the same tilted glass plane motif will be installed.

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