About: Project Background

This site is maintained by the Friends of the Juneau Public Libraries.  Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page.  Also take a look at our Letter of Support (below) to the Mayor and Assembly.  

It has been a long-standing goal of the Friends of the Juneau Public Libraries as well as of the staff at the Juneau Public Libraries to find a permanent, city owned home for the Mendenhall Valley Branch since it moved into its first leased location at the Mendenhall Mall in 1983.  The Library Construction and Major Expansion Grant program through the Alaska Division of Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA) has led to a renaissance in library construction throughout the state, providing communities in need of new facilities to better meet the unique needs of their communities with a 50% reimbursement for construction costs.

The Juneau Public Libraries believe that a purpose-built facility in the residential and recreational heart of the community (Mendenhall Valley/Dimond Park) would allow our programs and services to better serve our users, allowing for unrestricted evening access for programs, visibility with road frontage on Riverside Drive and an inspiring place for people of all ages to gather, explore and celebrate our cultural heritage.

Initial needs assessment and functional design meetings between MRV Architects, Library Staff and the membership of the Friends of the Libraries have yielded a preliminary target square footage of 21,000 square feet (current leased space at Mall is ~10,000 ft2, Downtown library is ~16,000 ft2) which has been worked into a project cost of $13.5 million by the CBJ Engineering Department.  Half of the cost would be eligible for reimbursement through the DCRA grant and the Friends of JPL and the Endowment Fund of the Juneau Public Library have expressed their intent to provide additional local match financial support.  The facility will seek LEED Certification and will investigate the option of ground source heating.

In Fall 2012, voters approved a Sales Tax measure which will provide the remaining $4.7 M local match to the $7 M The Library Construction and Major Expansion Grant awarded in 2012 by the DCRA.  Funding is now completely in place and the project is proceeding with completion of the conceptual design phase in Summer 2013 with the goal of moving into the remaining phases (structural, design development, construction documents) by early 2014.