Serving more than 800,000 people in Jackson, Clay, and Platte Counties, Mid Continent Public Library (MCPL) is the largest library system in the Kansas City Metro Area and one of the largest in the country. Over the last year, the design team of Sapp Design Architects and Helix Architecture + Design has been working with MCPL to prepare for the official launch of their capital program, which kicked off in May.
Funded by the overwhelming passage of Proposition L in 2016, MCPL is investing $113 million dollars into enhancing all 31 existing branches and constructing two new locations. Of the 31 existing branches, MCPL will be replacing four with new buildings, expanding three with substantial building additions and renovating all 24 others. While the upgrades at each branch vary based on individual community needs and the building’s current condition, the improvements will help ensure that branches serve the needs of modern library users.
Sapp and Helix are working collaboratively to bring the firms’ combined expertise with 21st-century libraries, architecture and interior design to each branch. As technology has increasingly become our conduit to knowledge, public libraries are evolving into community centers and cultural hubs that offer a wide variety of services and programs. MCPL and design team members from Helix and Sapp held a series of 29 public meetings to gather input from library users. These meetings helped inform the programs, spaces, and technologies that will be most impactful for each branch and the community it serves.