Despite DeKalb Public Library’s Art Deco architecture, and landmark status, the nearly 85-year-old building wasn’t able to meet the needs of the growing community.
Viewed by the community as an architectural gem, the project required a carefully thought out expansion that complemented and preserved the features of the original building.
The project’s primary challenge was the lack of available land for the desired expansion. To solve this issue, the library and the City of DeKalb entered into an intergovernmental development agreement. The City approved vacating a portion of Third Street and for the library to acquire the land located to the west for a 53,875-square-foot expansion.
EEA’s team of engineers developed civil site design plans to accommodate the new expansion, parking lot, and stormwater detention requirements. In addition, drainage, utilities and pedestrian access from the now vacated Third Street were re-routed through the site.
During the project phases of the DeKalb Public Library Expansion EEA’s engineering team was also presented with the following challenges:
• Addressing the more than 12 feet of grade change between the existing building and the new parking lot. Despite the grade change, EEA’s design professionals developed accessible routes between both the old and new facilities.
• Engineers designed an inverted siphon to circumvent an unmarked fiber optic duct that was discovered during construction. This design allowed the library to avoid costly delays and saved several million dollars in relocation costs.
• Approximately six-acres of upstream area drained through the former Third Street right-of-way. EEA’s drainage experts developed stormwater models of the upstream watersheds to ensure the library’s new parking lot could safely convey the runoff from these upstream areas.