The Southern Oaks Library's long awaited makeover is almost complete and the library is on schedule to reopen Sept. 25.
Southern Oaks, 6900 South Walker, has been closed since May 2011. The original goal was to reopen within a year, but construction delays pushed back the reopening.
But the wait will be worth it, manager Randy Wayland said. The renovation includes adding about 3,500 square feet pushing the facility's total size to about 20,000 square feet.
There will be new restrooms, additional reading lounges, an expanded teen area and 36 computers for patrons, doubling the number of machines available before the renovation.
Wayland said the library was the third-busiest branch in the system.
“We had huge waiting lists for the computers,” Wayland said. “That's probably what we got asked about the most. A lot of the time on Sundays people would be waiting for over an hour. We hope the new computers cuts that time down.”
Southern Oaks opened in 1975 and has undergone several minor renovations since then. In 2000 there were some cosmetic improvements, including new carpeting. Wayland said visitors will notice some change to the decor when they visit the branch.
“It was definitely dated in some areas,” Wayland said. “We had some minor things done from time to time but it was definitely time for some new decor.”
The expanded teen's area is expected to be popular.
Nice space for teens
“Before the area was in a very small area tucked into a corner,” Wayland said. “We've been able to give them more of their own space and we've added six computers that are for teens only. It's going to be a nice space.”
The library's temporary location on SW 59 will be closed Monday to allow for the moving of materials back to the renovated branch.