Fretz Park Library soon will undergo a $6 million remodel and expansion – the first of its kind since the facility opened in 1976.
“It’s a pretty massive renovation,” says Kris Sweckard, interim director for the Dallas Public Library. “It will gain a significant amount of space.”
Funds came from the 2006 bond package. Part of the project involves “filling in the wedge,” he says. As patrons of the library know, the building is shaped almost like a pie with a missing piece. All in all, it will gain 5,000 square feet and have a more modern architectural design.
The plan also includes a black box theater that will host not only library programs but all kinds of neighborhood events.
“Part of what the library system is trying to do is become more of a place for community,” Sweckard says. “[The theater] will be for library events, performances, speeches, community meetings, political events.”
The renovation also will yield 20-25 computers – double the amount the library has now. The collection will be updated to include more bestsellers and popular titles. Sweckard says there also is an emphasis on growing the e-book collection, which allows patrons to check out books electronically at home.
The project is still a long way off. The plan will go before the city council in January, and construction is set to begin in late spring or early summer of 2013. It’s expected to take about one year to complete, during which the library will be closed.