At a recent City Council Study Session, the group looked at several potentially significant capital improvement plans for the Monrovia Public Library and the park in which it sits. These plans were the cumulative result of the new Library Strategic Plan and the recent Homeless Response Plan. According to the city staff report, the driving force behind the design concepts was an attempt to help the library remain relevant.
The key elements of the proposed enhancements are as follows:
- Developing unique spaces, especially for children, at the library.
- Enclosing part of the outdoor park space to take back the space for use by the library.
- Addressing security concerns at the library.
- Endangered the landscaping throughout the park.
- Installing a “Portland Loo” restroom near the playground area.
- Developing a memorial walk on the library grounds.
- Connecting the existing historical features within the park.
In the children’s area of the library there are several distinct suggestions. These include:
- Expanding the programming area for the children by incorporating part of the park on the south end of the library building by installing new fencing in the park and adding a new access to the children’s area via a south entry to the library.
- Incorporating so called “Reading Huts” in that enclosed area.
- Developing a special outdoor space for story times.
- Creating a “messy” space for “maker” activities.
- Creating a music exploration area outside via outdoor musical instruments.
- Creating ways to recognize library sponsors and community partners.
Several examples of these concepts were presented to the council via slides of existing “Reading Huts,” instruments, etc.
Improvements to the adult portion of the library were also put before the council. These included such features as:
- A new outdoor patio/loggia space to read study or work online.
- A possible cafe space.
- A space for outdoor conversations.
- The establishment of outdoor views at the library.
- An outdoor space for the Heritage Room.
- Again, space to recognize donors and community partners.
- As with the youth area, the council was shown examples of such features.
Proposed diagrams were shown to the council of both the north (adult) area and south (youth) area of the library. A diagram of the proposed new landscaping through the park was also displayed. The features of the plan include a “cobble” band surrounding the library, followed by “security” planting’s, an ornamental mix, grasses turf and ultimately decomposed granite around the edge before the side walk. The “Portland Loo” would be placed, under this plan, at the far west side of the park adjacent to the walkway from Primrose Avenue to play area.
So far the city staff has worked with AHBE Landscape Architects to develop the preliminary design with input from the community via the Library Strategic Plan. The city has been coordinating with a registered consulting arborist to do a healthy tree assessment (a few trees near the Plan area were removed due to disease). The city has also developed a preliminary cost estimate for the proposed designs.
The city staff looked to the City Council for feedback on the plans and will soon be reaching out to the community for further feedback and potential funding.