With the goal of providing modern and relevant services to the residents of McAlester and the surrounding area, the Southeast Oklahoma Library System has been working for several years toward the remodel of the McAlester Public Library. The remodel will expand the library square footage, update the antiquated electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems, provide multiple locations for community gathering, and incorporate technology such as STEM labs for children, computer stations, and a digital conversion station. It will serve both as a community center all citizens take pride in and the outlet where persons seeking information, needing broadband access, or looking for a gathering space can meet their needs.
In 2019 the library system conducted a campaign study to investigate the library needs within the community and the capacity for giving to support the project. The COVID pandemic delayed efforts, but by late 2021 the library system had procured solid architectural renderings, secured anchor funding, and developed a plan for securing the remaining funds throughout 2022. In January 2022 we obtained detailed cost estimates from a construction manager firm.
Modern library services reach far beyond traditional reading and literacy. We’re expanding our reach and improving our usability by revamping traditional services, removing barriers and adding new, more convenient ways to use the library.
CURRENT SQUARE FOOTAGE: 24,000
PROPOSED SQUARE FOOTAGE: 27,800
CURRENT NUMBER OF MEETING ROOMS: 2
PROPOSED NUMBER OF MEETING ROOMS: 4
MEETING ROOM CAPACITY
CURRENT CAPACITY OF MEETING ROOMS: 80
PROPOSED MEETING ROOM CAPACITY: 140
STUDY/COLLABORATIVE WORK SPACE ROOMS
CURRENT NUMBER OF ROOMS: 1
PROPOSED NUMBER OF ROOMS: 4
CURRENT PARKING SPACES: 37
PROPOSED PARKING SPACES: 65
Ready to Go:
With architectural renderings in hand, our project can be shovel ready in 2-3 months once funding is secured.
Our project steering committee includes two former mayors and a current city council member.
Friends of the Library:
The Friends of the Library have already purchased two adjacent lots for additional parking and green space.
With no cost-free places for meetings in McAlester, whether one-on-one, with a few people or in a large group, the library will meet a major community need.
Connecting Rural Oklahoma:
Small meeting rooms will be equipped with computers, web cameras, and other productivity equipment.
The remodeled library will provide learning technologies for all ages to assist with career development and foster lifelong learning.
With space and technology focused on gathering, learning, and connecting with others in person or virtually, the design for the McAlester Public Library will boost economic growth and educational development in McAlester. Visitors can use the study and meeting rooms, accommodating one to 12 people, to work in isolation from the general space. Businesses from outside of town can use these spaces to meet with clients or to hold seminars. Homeschooled families can learn in a peaceful room. Rooms will be equipped with virtual conferencing equipment to assist community members participating in virtual meetings. The architectural design incorporates an open layout that will allow customers to naturally space out more throughout the building and encourage natural social distancing. The stacks are arranged in an intentional layout to create separation between customers and to define small pockets of space that are set up with furniture to allow an individual to read or work in solitude.
We already have $4.5 million in funds committed. The Southeast Oklahoma Library System, Puterbaugh Foundation of McAlester, and the City of McAlester have each pledged $1.5 million toward the project. This commitment marks the single largest grant the Puterbaugh Foundation has ever given, and is the first time the library system has invested funds into the remodel of one of its libraries.
- January 2022-September 2022: Finish raising project funds
- May 2022: Secure 25% of funding from additional anchor partners
- December 2022: Solicit construction bid documents
- June 2023: Begin construction
- October 2024: Completion of project and grand reopening of the library
Total Project Budget
|Project Budget||Amount||Projected Funding Sources||Amount|
|Direct Construction Costs||$6,500,000||Committed SEOLS Funds||$1.5 Million|
|Construction Fees||$1,500,000||Committed Puterbaugh Funds||$1.5 Million|
|Architect Fees||$600,000||Committed City of McAlester Funds||$1.5 Million|
|Furniture||$400,000||Additional Anchor Partners||$1.5 Million|
|Local Foundations & Donors||$3 Million|
|Total Budget||$9,000,000||Total Funding||$9 Million*|
*Donations exceeding project costs will be placed into an endowment to provide for future maintenance costs.
McAlester Public Library Proposed Floor Plan & Exteriors
The efforts to provide the community of McAlester with a modern facility began more than 15 years ago. Library leaders and supporters explored many options including moving to a new location. The Friends of the Library support organization raised over $80,000 toward this goal. Unfortunately, the plans fell through when the new property for the new site became no longer available.
In 2017 the Southeast Oklahoma Library System revitalized efforts to improve the library, and in 2019 paid for a campaign study. That study discovered that the community would rather remodel the current library building than relocate or start from scratch. It also identified gathering space and access to technology as the biggest needs the library could help meet.
Since that time, we have secured detailed plans and cost estimates for the project. With those plans in hand, the Southeast Oklahoma Library System, the local Puterbaugh Foundation and the City of McAlester agreed to anchor the project by donating $1.5 million each. This marks the both the first time the library system has invested in the remodel of a building and, for the Puterbaugh Foundation, their single largest grant given in their long history. We are currently in negotiation with one other partner to join us as an anchor, and if successful that will commit an additional $1.5 million to the project before we have gone public.
This would leave us $3 million within the community to raise in order to meet our goal. Our campaign study indicates we should be able to meet, if not exceed that goal. We plan to end fundraising in late 2022, and break ground in 2023.
This proposal is submitted by a public library system organized under Title 65 Oklahoma Statutes.
The System requests any funding awarded under this proposal be appropriated via the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, a State Agency created to “exercise the authority of the State of Oklahoma for adequate library facilities…throughout the state.i
i65 Okla Stat. 1-103§
2019 Quick Stats
|Total Computer Use||14,915|