The Kaukauna Public Library, housed in its original 11,000-square-foot building, was running out of space. Expansion at the existing site was cost prohibitive, so the City of Kaukauna sought an alternative approach to designing and constructing a 21st century library that met the needs of residents.
A team comprised of the City, SEH and a local developer who specializes in renovating historic buildings agreed to move the library to the developer’s nearby property — a former paper mill from 1872. While the mill space was sufficient to meet the library’s needs, renovating the structure posed unique challenges, including 3-foot-thick stone walls and flooring that was reinforced with steel plates to support papermaking equipment. Also, architects were challenged to retain the historic context of the building while accommodating current technology and other library program requirements. Since completion, library attendance and participation in library programs has dramatically increased, while taxpayers have benefited from the unique building ownership agreement.
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City of Kaukauna