Preview of the reopening of the main branch of the Carmel Clay Library
This month we are pleased to offer a glimpse of the newly renovated Carmel Clay Public Library and would like to thank CCPL Director Bob Swanay and CCPL Foundation Executive Director Elizabeth Hamilton for making visit our team with the building and the brand new three-level parking lot before the grand reopening celebration which will take place on Saturday October 1st.
The results after a construction period of 2 years
The Main Library project is the result of almost 3 years of planning. The design and construction took place in partnership with RATIO Architects (architect), Skillman Corporation (construction manager) and Veridus Group (owner’s representative).
As Swanay and Hamilton walked us through the building, we noticed that the main entrance to the library is now on the north side of the building facing Main Street and Carmel High School. The other two main entrances to the library come from the first and second floors of the parking garage.
Our team was blown away by the transformation of the library, and it was evident that every square inch of the building was utilized and maximized for the benefit of its customers, guests and employees.
The new community hall has meeting and program space that is more than twice the size of the old library community hall. And it can be divided into two rooms for two separate programs or meetings.
“In the past, our [Community] The program room was exclusively for the library,” Swanay said. “So that’s a change, because we’re going to allow businesses to book and rent that space and our medium-sized businesses. [program and meeting] rooms on the second floor at a “business” rate. Non-profit organizations can reserve the rooms free of charge.
The community room contains state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and a kitchenette for lunch get-togethers, etc. Swanay added that people can bring in any food service they want while using the community hall.
Hamilton added: “The Community Hall will be where Guilded Leaf Book & Author attendees [evening] event will come for the first time. We bring [the evening event] home, and the book and author’s lunch will always be at the Ritz Charles.
Customers can access the brand new book lockers in the garage lounge located on the first level of the new parking lot.
Swanay added: “People will be able to collect reservations and will receive a notification from the library that they are ready for collection. All they have to do is scan their library card and [book] the locker will open.
Parking and outdoor space
“There are over 200 parking spaces in the garage and approximately 71 in the surface parking lot next to the garage,” Swanay said. “There are 100 more in the West Lot. green space [west] of the library will be laid out in September when it cools down, and we call it the event lawn. It will be a nice grassy area and there will be a row of trees enclosing it. We will have programs in this space and we can use it all year round. One thing I look forward to, when it snows here are the heated walks which when we flip a switch melt the snow.
Library Friends of the Library
The Friends of the Library – a fundraising arm of the library – has benefited from a major space upgrade and is among one of the most visible features when entering the library from the main entrance.
“Friends of the Library is going to be able to display a larger collection, and people will be able to navigate more easily because it’s more open,” Hamilton said. “We also make branded merchandise for people to come and buy books at a bargain price and buy a t-shirt, a coffee mug or maybe a bottle of water to show their support for the library. The Friends are 100% volunteers and they donate the money they earn from the bookstore to the library to support programming.
For more information on the Friends of the Library Bookstore and its hours of operation, see the CCPL website at carmelclaylibrary.org.
The New Digital Media Lab
The new digital media lab rivals some college and university labs and has a plethora of tech stations, including 12 Mac stations, several other 3D printers, soundproof rooms, and a video creation room.
“Some of the 3D printers will print with different types of materials, such as clay and metal,” Swanay explained. “We are going to install an oven [in the lab] to pull what has been printed. I think what makes this space unique for the area is that we have staff specifically trained for this area who have different skill sets – some with experience in video editing or 3D printing – so there’s a good mix of skills among the digital media lab specialists. »
The Java House
The only thing that makes a brand new library even better is the addition of a cafe!
The Library was pleased to announce that Java House will provide cafe service to the expanded Main Library when it reopens. The Carmel-based company will operate the library’s 1,100 square foot coffee space, serving its cold brew coffee drinks, as well as tea, hot chocolate and snacks.
Swanay added: “In addition to plenty of indoor seating, we are planning to have patio seating here, and the people of Carmel love patio seating. So, as people drive along Main Street, they’ll see a busy library, where before it was just a brick facade. And since we will be serving a large portion of our customer base to high school students, this Java House location will offer more food and snack options than its other locations.
Hours of operation will be posted on the Java House website as well as the CCPL website.
The Children’s Area
Words can hardly describe the transformation of the Children’s Space, the Teens’ Space and the Adults’ Space. You really have to see for yourself just how remarkable these spaces are to fully appreciate them.
“I love the kids zone,” Swanay said. “What you’ll notice – and the big difference from the previous version – is that each of the zones has its own color palette, with the children’s zone being the most colorful.”
The kids’ area is larger and features different touch play stations such as a “Ranger” playhouse that can be converted into different themes to promote imaginative play and a life-size Lite Brite that all ages can enjoy!
The Discovery Room offers a myriad of uses and functional spaces that can be divided into two spaces. When the Discovery Room is not in use for programs, the window wall can be fully opened, and Swanay shared that there will be games and puzzles for children to play with.
The Exploration Lab has computers and games and features a fun Lego® brick wall and magnets to encourage creative design and hand-eye motor skills.
There’s a ton of fun and unconventional seating in the respective kids’ area and labs. It makes every adult want to be a child again!
The teen zone
The amount of space teenagers have now is extraordinary and combined with the Digital Media Lab and Java House, they practically get their own facility. This is six times more space than the previous teen zone.
The seating and decor create a vibe in the Teen Zone that’s more mature than the Kids Zone and is a solid mix of funky and sophisticated. The lighting is bright and fun without being blinding, and there are several new study rooms where people will be able to reserve them and upon reservation they will receive a pin code to access the rooms.
“For the first time, we have our own programming space dedicated to teenagers for the [teen] department,” Swanay shared. “It’s equipped with tables and chairs, but we can break it down and reconfigure it in different ways for art lessons, book discussions, ping pong or video game tournaments, etc.”
And for budding young artists, there is a room reserved for the artist in residence.
Swanay explained, “The idea here is that we will be hosting a teen artist on a quarterly basis who will have this studio space to create and work on their projects. There is a display space on a wall in the Teen Zone that will feature their work. It’s a great experience for a young artist.
Stay tuned for more information on how to apply for Artist-in-Residence!
Some customers might think they are on vacation when visiting the new adult space which houses the entire adult collections on almost the entire second floor minus the administrative wing.
The adults’ area offers ample seating areas with an assortment of comfortable chairs and workstations and stunning views of the Main Street roundabout. At night, the lights from inside will illuminate the north facade of the library, highlighting its architectural splendour!
There are additional meeting or study rooms on this level that can be reserved and accessed with a PIN code, just like the meeting rooms on the main level.
Featured Hoosier Artists
One of the most fascinating aspects of the new main branch is that it features exquisite works of art by local artists! CCPL truly honors some of our state’s greatest artists in this way, and Main Branch patrons and guests will be greeted by these wonderful works.
As is tradition, the main branch will continue to feature local artwork on a designated wall on the main level that will rotate monthly and be available for purchase through the Friends of the Library bookstore.
The kids’ area features a whimsical and colorful mural and a coordinating mural by artist Bryan Ballinger of Huntington, Indiana. And the Teen Zone features a glossy mural by Connor Heagy.
And patrons and guests entering the library from the upper levels of the parking lot will be greeted by a massive work commissioned by nationally acclaimed Indianapolis-based artist Walter Knabe. The unveiling of Knabe’s piece will take place shortly before the grand reopening of the library. Follow CCPL’s social media and website for more information.
Questions for the main branch?
The temporary library at Merchants’ Square (2140 E 116th Street) and the Digital Media Lab at 23 E Main Street are now permanently closed, but CCPL staff are ready to answer your questions.
During this transition period, library staff are available to assist you in person at the West Branch and by phone at (317) 814-3965 during West Branch hours.
Visit the CCPL website for more information on the main branch reopening schedule and related information at carmelclaylibrary.org.