The homestretch begins for the St. Louis County Library, which for most of a decade has been rebuilding or renovating its 20 branches and soon will replace its powerhouse destination for students, families and authors.
The library’s headquarters, in decline after 61 years of heavy use, will close next year for a $22 million construction project unanimously approved Monday by Ladue’s City Council.
Even though the next library will no longer be the “headquarters” (and it does not yet have a name), the final phase of the system’s $120 million master plan deals with the most complicated project, Kristen Sorth, library director, said Tuesday.
“It’s the center of everything we do at the library,” she said.
About 180 staff members, not to mention bookmobiles, will leave the Ladue building in a few months. Instead of working in a cement block basement, using a maze of ramps and an indoor dock for shipping and a hodgepodge of spaces for cataloging and book ordering, most staff will move to a new administration building about a mile away in Frontenac. That building may open as soon as April.
Then, construction on the replacement Ladue library at 1640 South Lindbergh Boulevard is expected to start in June and take 12 to 18 months, Sorth said.