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  Mt. Pleasant Public Library & Civic Center, Page 26Mt. Pleasant Public Library & Civic Center

8710 Earhart Lane, S.W., Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Mt. Pleasant, Iowa
Total Square Feet: 76,250
Construction Period: July 2003 to Apr 2005

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: M2B - 422 2nd Avenue, S.E., Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER: BSW, L.C. - 1605 E. Monroe Street, Mt. Pleasant, IA 52641
MECHANICAL & ELECTRICAL ENGINEER: Howard R. Green Company - 8710 Earhart Lane, S.W., Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
COST ESTIMATOR: Stecker-Harmsen, Inc. - 510 S. 17th Street, #110, Ames, IA 50010

What do you do with an abandoned senior high school building that is slowly disintegrating? The community of Mt. Pleasant retained the Howard R. Green Company to see whether this building could become a civic center or remain a civic disaster. The original structure was built in 1932 with subsequent additions in 1948, 1955 and 1973. The building had eight different levels with four of them being in the part of the building that the public library would eventually be located in. The existing building contained 70,000 square feet on three floors and the new program for the public library required 23,000 square feet of that space on one floor.

The restored building has become the Mt. Pleasant Civic Center with the one space added to the exterior being the new lobby entrance to the public library. All of the existing windows which were a combination of prefinished metal panel and glass, have been replaced with an allglass configuration similar to the original building design. The original brick diapering has also been restored and repaired where additional windows were added later and changed the original pattern.

The four floor levels in the library area were reduced to just two by raising and lowering adjacent areas. The entire adult collection is now at one level with the new lobby. The children's area and the periodicals section are two feet higher and are connected by a ramp and steps. The new raised floor in the main part of the library area now serves as a plenum to carry air ducts and electrical raceways to the entire space. The center part of the building that now houses the library is located in the original gym of the 1932 portion of the building. The tile ceiling has been removed, the structure exposed, and north facing clerestories have been added to capture daylight.

The library now exists in a 28-foot high space, bathed in natural light, surrounded by perimeter spaces where reading areas are located next to windows. New overhead ductwork is exposed and painted a metallic color to blend with new aluminum light fixtures. Open grille screens serve as low barriers to maintain openness for air circulation and to maintain sightlines. Sheet aluminum and granite are used on the main circulation desk to continue the theme of exposed, simple materials in the main public areas.

A new elevator in the building provides access to offices on the 2nd floor for the school district, light and sound booths that serve a refurbished auditorium, and a 150 seat community meeting room for the library.

The old high school auditorium has been returned to its former glory and now serves as a second meeting room for the library and a performance space for the community theatre organization seating 350. Dressing rooms, a green room, storage and a scene shop have been created in other spaces of the building. A lower level has been created out of the basement shop areas and now houses the office location of the Area Education Agency. New window areas and an at-grade entrance to a parking area now allow this space to function independently of the rest of the building.

The remainder of the building houses the existing gymnasium and wrestling room that was added in 1973, which has been converted to a community recreation center with three classroom spaces created and new shower and toilet facilities for the gym.

The new mechanical heart of the building is housed in the old coal room of the high school. All of the previous space of the building has been used in an efficient manner with 5 separate occupants now housed there.

A derelict eyesore has been put back into use in a community of 8,500 people and a new town center has been created.

DIV 07:
Membrane: Firestone; EIFS:Sto Corp.
DIV 08: Entrances, Storefronts, Windows: EFCO Corporation; Hollow Metal Doors: CECO; Wood Doors: Eggers; Hardware: Glenn Johnson, LCN, National Guard, Stanley, Von Duprin.
DIV 09: Carpet: Durkan, Patcraft; Linoleum: Forbo Marmoleum.
DIV 16: Lighting: Peerless.

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