The expansion project for the Larry J. Ringer Library in College Station is nearing completion, with its reopening expected in early September.

Larry Koeninger, Bryan-College Station Library Systems director, said this week that the renovation adds more than 11,000 square feet to the facility. He said the meeting room in the upgraded facility is double its previous size and includes a dividing wall to allow space for two groups at once. 

Two conference rooms, five study rooms, a room for teenagers and furniture equipped with plugs and ports are among the amenities library users can look forward to, according to Koeninger.

“There’s a whole lot of improvements to the building, and there’s something in there for everybody,” he said.

Koeninger said the tentative plan is to reopen the library in the first week of September, and a formal reopening reception is planned for Oct. 20.

The library on Harvey Mitchell Parkway closed to the public for the renovation and expansion project on Nov. 5 of last year. The $6 million construction contract includes renovations to the existing building and an 11,800-square-foot expansion.

“We have also expanded the children’s department considerably. That’s the largest single increase in the square footage,” Koeninger said. “There’s a lot more space for them, along with more shelving for more materials, more books, more videos — those kinds of things. There will be a permanent play area so that kids — toddlers and pre-readers — can have space for vocabulary and motor skills development.”

Koeninger said he anticipated that patrons would find the building “a lot more flexible in terms of technology” due to the increased number of ways to plug in tech devices.

“So far, we’ve received quite a bit of the shelving, and there’s still another shipment of that that’s due next week,” Koeninger said. “Once that’s in place, we can begin moving books out of storage. We have furniture deliveries coming in, and we have all kinds of tables, chairs and lounge chairs coming in. Everything in the building will be new in terms of the furniture and the shelving.”

He said parking options have also been “considerably” expanded.

College Station voters approved the renovation and expansion project as part of a 2008 bond election. Library staff members were temporarily relocated to the Carnegie History Center and Clara B. Mounce Public Library in Bryan during the renovation.

“When you walk in, it’ll be like a whole new building,” Koeninger said.

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