Building Our Future

Monticello Opening

Monticello Library to Open Sunday, August 5, 2018!

Long-awaited branch inaugurates services in Western Shawnee!

The new Monticello Library will open its doors to the public on Sunday, August 5, 2018, 1:00 – 5:00 pm, the Johnson County Library Board of Directors announced at their April board meeting. The August 5 event will be low-key, according to Library Board chair Nancy Hupp. “We know how eager our residents are to get into this beautiful facility,” she says, “so we are inaugurating services quickly, and people can start using their new Library right away.” The doors will open promptly at 1 pm. Activities will include tours of the new building conducted by Library staff and opportunity to meet artists who’ve created new works of public art to be installed at the site. The afternoon event takes place during what will be regular Sunday service hours, making Monticello the fifth library in the County open on Sundays.

Designed with Flexibility in Mind

Monticello Library is designed to be as flexible as possible. We know that our community’s library service needs change over time. We’re eager to help Library buildings adapt to properly meet those needs.

As renderings show, there are few permanent interior walls in the Monticello Library. To add to all that open space, we’ve taken the additional step of installing raised floors throughout the building. These are a staple in many factories and laboratories.

A raised floor, also raised flooring, access flooring or raised access computer floor, provides an elevated structural floor above a solid substrate like a concrete slab to create a hidden space about 8” tall for the passage of mechanical and electrical services. They make it easy to route power and communication cables wherever they are needed, and permit quick reconfiguration of service areas and departments.

Here are some images of the floors being installed in public and staff areas at Monticello. If you feel taller when you go to Monticello Library, just think: you are!

Signs of Progress

While we’re building the Lenexa City Center Library, Construction Manager Turner Construction Company has arranged for a barrier wall facing the popular Public Market and City Hall. The Library designed the images to reflect our patrons, services and programs, along with a rendering of the completed library building. In total, it’s more than 250 feet of Library imagery! The signs were fabricated and installed by Lawrence, KS-based Star Signs. You can also see their handiwork at the Central and Oak Park Libraries. Read more news about our new building projects »

I Like It Better Over There

When Monticello Library opens later this year, it will house a circulating collection of almost 100,000 items: books, CDs and DVDs. There are also shelves for Holds, Periodicals and Newspapers. That’s a lot of shelves,  at least 1900 linear feet at last count.

Our resident specialists in shelf capacity and location are Michelle Olsen, Circulation Manager, and Lacie Griffin, Collection Development Manager. As part of the building design and construction process, they’ve logged hundreds of hours poring over layouts, blueprints, floorplans and diagrams to maximize our shelf locations to make as much material as possible available to patrons of our newest branch.

As you may well understand, they like to get it right the first time. A “range” of shelves is made of 7 shelving units side-by-side and back-to-back. Each unit contains 5 shelves and is 64” tall x 36” wide x 12” deep. SO: each 21-foot long range contains 70 shelves, and at an estimated 100 pounds per shelf, that’s almost 4 tons of books! It takes a lot to get them moved, so you can see why we do so much planning!

Library Robots!

Ok, well, we don't quite have robot helpers, yet. But we have next best thing at some of our branches: automated sorting! The Library circulates around 7 million items per year. When you place a hold to pick up at a conveniently located branch, we work to get it there as quickly and efficiently as possible. In addition to our friendly staff, we’re using technology to improve our work. Coming soon to Corinth, Antioch, Monticello and Lenexa City Center: automated sorting! The image here illustrates the kind of sorter we’ll be installing.This helps materials get checked in and routed to you faster. You can watch automated sorting at work already at Central, Blue Valley and Leawood. 

Comprehensive Library Master Plan Update: Spring 2018

Monticello Library @ 22435 W. 66th St., Shawnee (pictured here)

  • Opening: planned 3rd quarter 2018
  • Total project cost: $18.1 million
  • Monticello Library “sealed the envelope,” as they say in the construction trade, as winter set in. Once the exterior of the building is closed up, work begins in earnest to finish the interiors and to make the building systems operational while librarians are assembling the collection. By spring 2018, the building’s interior surfaces will be the bright, modern colors and textures seen in the Monticello fly-through video.

Lenexa City Center Library @ 8778 Penrose Lane, Lenexa

  • Opening: planned mid-2019
  • Total project cost: $21.1 million
  • The Board of County Commissioners and the Library’s Board of Directors broke ground for Lenexa City Center Library on Nov. 28, 2017. This stunning new facility comprises approximately 40,000 square feet on two levels. This will double the size and replace the existing Lackman Library. The dynamic open floor plan at Lenexa City Center Library will permit rearrangement when needed, as the Library’s service population grows and changes.

Blue Valley Library @ 9000 W. 151st St., Overland Park

  • Schedule and project budget in process
  • The September 2017 Blue Valley Library public input process received responses from more than 2,000 residents. Neighbors and Library users offered their views on placement of the Library on the site, number of stories and various parking solutions. The input received is informing the ongoing Library and City of Overland Park study for this important Library project scheduled for 2022.

Breaking Ground at Lenexa City Center Library

At 8:15am on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, County officials gathered to break bread – er, donuts – and ground at the site of the forthcoming Lenexa City Center Library. Construction of the branch is at preliminary stages: permits are being pulled, equipment and trailers are being moved into place. It might not look like much, or, well, anything now, but Lenexa’s 40,000 square feet on two stories will double the size of and replace our current Lackman Library. Opening is expected mid-to-late 2019.

It's pronounced: mon–tih–sell–oh

First things first: it’s [mon–tih–sell–oh]. We know – that’s not how Thomas Jefferson might have said it. However since its founding in 1857 the Monticello township, and now the community,  have adopted the Americanized pronunciation. So have we.

SHAWNEE, WE HAVE A BUILDING. Planning’s completed, designs are approved and permits have been issued. Monticello Library is becoming a reality in Shawnee, Kansas where Shawnee Mission Parkway abuts Kansas Highway 7.

Earthwork on the 22435 W. 66th Street site started in March 2017. After the May 10 Groundbreaking Ceremony, construction actively got underway. A concrete pad was poured; a steel framework began to describe the silhouette; utilities were connected. A retaining wall was installed on the south, and the 100-space parking lot was paved by year’s end.

Monticello Library is anticipated to be “dried in,” as they say in the construction trade, in January 2017. Once the exterior of the building is closed up, work will start in earnest to finish the interiors and to make the building systems – heating, lighting, electrical – operational.

Specific planning for Monticello Library actually got underway in 2005. When the project was fully funded in early 2016, more focus groups and staff committees weighed in to assure that the new building would meet current demands and standards. Among the features that were cited by community and staff as necessary, both in 2005 and 2016:  ample meeting spaces for public use; robust wifi and other tech support; a drive-through window; dynamic children’s programming. All of these, and more, are planned for the new facility.

The need for a Monticello branch was noted in the Johnson County Library Facilities Master Plan 1990-2010. In 2000, the Library Board first requested that the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) place the Monticello facility in the annual Capital Improvement Plan (CIP); it was requested annually after that. In 2010, the County Commissioners ratified the site purchase from Bank of America, and a small donation of land from the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth augmented the footprint for parking. The BoCC approved issuance of bonds for the site purchase, and placed the project on the County CIP timeline for construction in 2015.

The economic downturn of 2008-09 caught up with the project in 2011, and the Commissioners removed this project from the County’s 2012-2016 CIP. The Library planned to provide alternative services in the area –such as storytimes and a self-service lending machine on the future Monticello site, pending future developments…

In 2015 the Library’s Board approved the 20-year Comprehensive Library Master Plan and named Monticello Library as the first implementation priority. A public funding increase was approved that year, and the project was launched. The Clark Enersen Partners of Fairway, KS was selected as the project architect, and McCownGordon Construction are serving as construction manager to bring Monticello Library to life.

Monticello Opens this Summer

That's right! We open this summer. But if you just can't wait to see what it will look like, then come fly with us! This animated flythrough highlights what the Monticello Library will look like inside and out!

For more information about our newest addition and to get the latest updates, check the Monticello Library page.