New Library Is Designed with Artful Touches

By Patric Hedlund

In two exciting presentations Thursday, Oct. 4 architects, designers and administrators for the Kern County library system gave detailed information to residents of the Mountain Communities about the 10,000 square foot branch library scheduled to open in the fall of 2009.

James Nardini and Derek Holdsworth, architects, explained the architectural designs for the interior and exterior of the building.

Designer Judy Van Wyck detailed aspects of interior features, explaining flooring, wall coverings, window treatments and art work being commissioned.

Photographer Richard Dickey showed examples his "Feral Flowers" portfolio, emphasizing the "unique natural treasures endangered in this region." His photographs will be included in a 120-foot curved photo collage illustrating natural features and the history of this region. It will flow through the center of the structure, suspended from the tall 23 foot ceilings.

Pine Mountain resident Diane Duquette, director of Kern County Libraries, has watched carefully over the entire process required to win approval and funding for the Frazier Park Branch.

She has been the supervisor for numerous new libraries throughout the growing county, and is an energetic advocate for adequate library facilities that reflect the identity of the communities they serve.

The architects, for instance, plan to use exterior and interior accents of handlaid stonework from a local quarry, to echo the distinctive stone houses of Frazier Park and the stone walls throughout the area.

The building will sit on Park Drive facing Frazier Mountain Park (with Encino Trail running behind it). They have taken great care in siting the building to preserve six large oaks on the property.

Holdsworth described a Craftsman-inspired design which is made with roof and "cementitious shingle" siding that are fireproof, yet appear rustic. Energy efficiency has been a priority throughout, he said.

A multipurpose room which will accommodate about 75 people in seating (with a small kitchen and a built-in audio-video projection system) will be available to the community even outside library service hours.

There is a children’s section to the library which promises to stimulate young imaginations with a storytelling center inspired by nature, local history and the native peoples of these mountains.

The project will go out to bid in June, with local contractors encouraged to participate. Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2008 and to take about seven months to complete, Duquette said.

This is part of the October 12, 2007 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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