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  Pella Public Library, Page 46Pella Public Library
Brown, Healey, Stone & Sauer A Howard R. Green Company
8710 Earhart Lane Southwest, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Pella, Iowa
Total Square Feet: 27,000
Construction Period: May 1998 to Jan 2000

Construction Team
General Contractor: Big Boy’s Construction - 1301 East Euclid Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50316
Structural Engineer: M2B Structural Engineers LLP - 422 2nd Avenue Southeast, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: KJWW Engineering Consultants - 623 26th Avenue, Rock Island, IL 61201

The new Pella Public Library is a major addition to a historic community with a strong cultural heritage in the central portion of Iowa. The town of Pella with a population of almost 11,000, is 30 miles from the state capital of Des Moines. The community is well known in the Midwest because of its strong Dutch heritage and its many community events that draw people from surrounding states. 

The community also has a series of planning guidelines that must be followed in the design of new structures in the downtown area. The contextual representation of new buildings is strictly enforced to maintain the goal of community harmony and integrity. The site, though almost a full block, was not overly spacious for a 22,000 square foot building and 65 cars. In order to allow for future growth, the building was planned to have a second floor that would be an open mezzanine area for additional public and staff areas. Due to the requirements for future space and the design review process that required roof slopes no less than 7:12, the ridge of the main roof approaches 45 feet in height and the top of the entrance tower is at 55 feet. The building is oriented on the site so that the main entrance faces the new commercial development now under construction.

The town is a historic icon for its towers and windmills and the new library reinforces that concept by creating the library entrance through its own tower that visually signifies its presence as a destination of importance. The materials used on the facade are a simple palette-brick, limestone trim and wood. Their use enlivened through the creation of special details such as a water table at the base of the wall, jack arches over the windows and a pattern of dentils at the eave line to create scale and detail on the facade.

The interior is marked by high ceilings that reinforce the concept of a major public building, exposed wood trusses, wood decorative details on the columns and the use of warm colors. Indirect light fixtures are used to provide glare-free illumination over the various types of activities that take place in a public library. There is also an under floor system of electric raceways that will allow power to be extended easily to new locations. The 3 main desks, circulation, information and children's area are all within sight lines of each other to increase staff efficiency. There is also a special Dutch Heritage Room in the reference area that provides a location for unique historical collections of the area. Natural light is brought into the building through large windows and supplemented by dormer windows that allow light to penetrate deeply into what is almost a square floor plan.

The children's area is located in a manner so that it has some isolation in an open plan environment. The Story Hour Room is located on the exterior wall with its own massing to give it a special importance and also position it so that it occurs across the street from the fire station. The children's area is also enhanced by the creation of a special art-piece. A 17-foot high windmill with a space for seating and the display of reading materials. Children have their own special area tailored to the unique characteristic of the community they live in.

The building is designed to meet the various challenges libraries are presented with in contemporary communities. It also does it in a way that blends into a historic community while being a 21st century structure.

DIV 04: Brick: Glen-Gery.
DIV 07: Roof Shingles: CertainTeed.
DIV 08: Entrances & Storefronts, Windows: Pella; Wood Doors: Marshfield DoorSystems; Hardware: McKinney Hinges, Hagar; Locks, Closers, Exits: Sargent.
DIV 09: Acoustical Treatment: Armstrong; Carpet: Milliken, J & J Industries; VCT: Armstrong; Tile: Dal-Tile; Wallcovering: Koroseal, Bolta,Omnova ESSEX; Paint: Pratt & Lambert, Zolatone; Plastic Laminate: Formica, Wilsonart.
DIV 10: Lockers: Lyon; Toilet & Bath Accessories: McKinney. 
DIV 14: Dumbwaiter: Matot.
DIV 15: Radiant Floor: Watts Radiant.
DIV 16: Lighting: SPI Lighting, Inc., Ledalite Architectural Products, Inc.

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