CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Students from nearby Noelani Elementary tackle their homework at Manoa Library after school.
$6.5M renovation would expand Manoa Library
The Manoa Library is the 11th busiest of the 24 libraries on the island but is the second smallest -- resulting in the highest circulation per square foot.
That's just another way of saying the library needs more room.
Community leaders will review three preliminary alternatives that would double the size of the Manoa Library in a $6.5 million renovation. The meeting, requested by state Sen. Brian Taniguchi and state Rep. Kirk Caldwell, is expected to be held at the Manoa Library from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 27.
"People are really excited because here's a chance for the valley to have a new, bigger library that better meets their needs but also have some input into the architecture," said Christel Collins, Manoa branch manager.
Officials want the community's input before making the library as big as 13,000 square feet, which would make it the 16th-largest library on Oahu.
"We really want it to be an organic part of the valley and to reflect Hawaiian architecture. It's a really small neighborhood library," Collins said.
"It's going to be a challenge to have a library that continues to have the feel of our neighborhood library but that also provides us more space and more parking and more resources," Collins said.
Proposals include meeting rooms in the library, energy-efficient design, a children's room, a reading room and more parking.
Collins said while options and space are limited, there is still room for community input, such as what it would look like and what is most needed.
She said one layout shares parking with the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy. Another design shows a two-story structure built on the current footprint of the library with parking on the lower level.
Caldwell said the meeting will be similar to a brainstorming session on the library designs. He said a later meeting with concrete ideas will be held for the larger community.
"The feeling is that before you meet with the entire community, you need some mock-ups, some drawings, some concrete proposals; otherwise you're all over the board," he said.
Taniguchi received an additional $3 million this year -- making the total $9.5 million -- for the library expansion. He sought the additional funds to cover the escalating cost of construction and building requirements such as LEEDS, national energy efficiency standards.
Unresolved is whether the university will share parking with the library. Expanding into the Institute for Astronomy's parking area would give the library a larger foundation and keep the building to one floor. The library would share a driveway with the institute.
Sam Callejo, UH vice president for administration, said the university is working with the library.
"It's a win-win for the people," he said.
George Aoki, a library user and president of Friends of Manoa Library, likes that the library is seeking community feedback.
"I know they're very interested in making sure that the building, whatever is built, fits in with the overall environment of the Manoa community," Aoki said.
"There are limitations to what we can do up there, but to get their input, I think, is a fantastic idea," he said.