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Construction comes together on Austin's 'Library of the Future'

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TWC News: Construction comes together on Austin's 'Library of the Future'
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If everything goes according to plan, construction of Austin's new library will begin later this year.

The $120 million “Library of the Future” is expected to open three years from now.

"The real distinction about a library for the future is that you have spaces that are adaptable, that you can use," said Brenda Branch, the director of libraries.

Monday the Library Commission got an update on how the project is progressing. Several of the building's green features are creating unique challenges.

"We're going to capture every drop of rain that falls and we're going to capture condensate from the air conditioning units. That's how we're going to flush the toilets," said John Gillum, the library facilities manager.

Collected water will also be used for irrigation. The way the trash generated at the facility is handled is also taking some additional planning.

"We want to make sure that we have a good plan for getting landfill materials and recyclables and compost out of the building," Gillum said.

The cost of construction materials like steel and cement are on the rise, so designers are looking for ways to restrain other costs.

"The construction budget is the construction budget, and it's our job to make sure the project comes in under that," Gillum said.

Once completed, the new central library will function as a civic hub. Planners say it will be much more than a place to borrow books.

"There's only one in the world right now and that's Amsterdam,” Branch said. “Our library will be more of a library for the future even than Amsterdam’s is."

The library will also feature a cafe that commissioners say they hope becomes a destination. About $90 million dollars of the project will be covered by voter approved bonds. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP