In 2016, Commercial Savings Bank gifted the community of Carroll, Iowa, with its former building allowing the city to move forward with a decade-long desire to expand and relocate both the city hall and library, which are currently co-located. OPN Architects was hired to conduct a feasibility study to provide a vision for the future of the Carroll Public Library and City Hall. This study included an assessment of needs, review of existing facilities, and a concept-level cost estimate, which allowed the city to call a referendum in August 2017 to fund the relocation and expansion.
The preferred concept was the result of multiple design exercises with and feedback from the community, patrons, and staff. The concept, approved by the city in May 2017, includes moving the existing City Hall offices and functions to the Commercial Savings Bank building. The existing library, built in 1975 as part of a community center project, will be renovated and expanded into the vacated space. A new entrance would be added to the building’s north side.
The library is a two-story facility with an all-glass lobby and spaces designed for the community, not just the collection. A focal point of the expanded lobby is a social stair, which can be used for casual gatherings or offers theatre seating for up to 50 people for events, concerts, and movies, with the landing at the bottom of the staircase doubling as a stage. Other event and community spaces include a makerspace, meeting room, and technology area. Collection spaces include separate areas for children, adults, and teens.
At the new City Hall, the one-floor design would bring the City Council chambers onto the same floor as the city offices, making the building more convenient for citizens.