When the Central Arkansas Library System completed construction of their new library in 1997, the fifth floor was left unfinished to accommodate the future growth of the library. After just twelve years of use, which saw unprecedented growth, the Central Arkansas Library System selected Stocks Mann Architects to complete the renovation of the Fifth Floor along with partial renovations of the first through fourth floors.
With views of the Arkansas River and the River Market District to the north, the 25,000 sq. ft. fifth floor houses the relocated Non-fiction sections, study rooms, administration and a coffee shop. A water feature is located in the casual seating area near the coffee shop. An 18” raised floor system was installed on the Fifth Floor to accommodate the mechanical system along with power and data systems. The raised floor allows for future access to power and data as needed in the future. This new renovation maintains the character of the old warehouse while incorporating new technology. The high ceilings allow indirect lighting to be used, providing diffused light to the spaces.
Half of the fourth floor was renovated into a “teen only” area, complete with stack space, study rooms, snack bar, a gaming and movies area and a program room. Named Level 4, this is one of the largest spaces in the United States devoted to teens in a public library.
The other floors included the expansion of the existing Administration area, Community Computer Lab, Study Carrels, an enlarged music and video space and a new meeting rooms along with general refurbishing.