Jefferson Library Celebrates Completion

About a decade in the making, Jefferson Library celebrated its grand opening in December 2018!

In 2009, a group of Jeffersonians with dreams of building a new library for their community formed the non-profit organization, Friends of Jefferson Library. In order to fund this capital project independent of the city, FOJL spent several years fundraising – with everything from bake sales to foundation sponsorship. In 2010, Rowell Brokaw was selected as the architect and brought 2G Construction on board shortly thereafter. We worked closely with FOJL to produce a concept design that could be used to solicit support for the project. Eight years later, FOJL had raised the funds needed to build the project. Construction began in 2017 and was completed in 2018 with a formal opening in December.

The library design had to be simple and elegant in order to remain financially feasible. The form and materials borrow design language from local farm buildings – simple shapes framed in wood and clad in galvanized metal siding – while select interior features, like sliding barn doors, recall the region’s agricultural heritage. The interior’s angled ceiling and high clerestory windows provide ample natural light, significantly reducing lighting energy costs. A large meeting room within the library creates space for daily functions and programs (art for kids, etc.), evening readings, movie screenings, and community meetings. Tall windows at street level invite visitors in and provide views out to the landscape and public spaces. The covered porch frames two sides of a courtyard, forming a south-facing outdoor gathering area for summer events.

During concept design, the site changed two times, and finally landed adjacent to the new Jefferson City Hall. Together, the new city hall and library form a lively new civic center for the Jefferson community.