Starting in the spring of 2013, the Friends of the KPL, Trustees and the City of Keene convened a series of 7 Focus Groups and 6 Community Visioning Forums facilitated by Daniel V. Scully Architects.
The goal was to determine how both Library buildings would be best used to provide library services that meet our community’s near and future needs. Additionally we wanted to know how to maximize opportunities for growing demands for meeting spaces by non profit and community organizations while offering the increasing array of library programs.
Participants in these discussions included Library patrons and non-users alike: parents, teachers, businesspeople, retirees, and community leaders.
A number of outcomes were clear.
- A greater need for meeting rooms, some equipped with technology such as projectors, screens, etc.
- Smaller sized meeting spaces for 3-4 people or for tutoring one on one and in small groups
- An instruction space that could also be used for virtual meetings or remote trainings, testing center
- Production space such as a Makerspace with dedicated technologies such as the 3D printer, computers, fabrication systems
- A dedicated space for teens including YA books, media, areas for collaboration, dedicated computers and comfortable seating.
- Improvements to existing theater space
- Dedicated book sale and storage spaces
- Improved outdoor seating/reading areas
- Reopening a South entrance from West Street
By the summer of 2014, Jeff Hoover of Tappé Architects, the firm that did the last Library addition in 1998, was hired to design the project. Hoover and his associates, in constant conversation with the various committees, developed the schematic design, and design development documents.
In early 2015, the Friends commissioned a feasibility study that confirmed strong support in the Monadnock philanthropic community for the project – an affirmation that led to this campaign.