Architects present new Preston Royal Library design

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Construction will not begin for several years, but the city is already laying out plans for the new Preston Royal Library, which will relocate to the vacant lot at Forest and Nuestra formerly occupied by Korean Young Nak Presbyterian Church. Architects at Perkins + Will designed the new library as LEED Gold, the second-highest energy-efficient rating outlined by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

The facility features a garden, several meeting rooms and a tree house for children’s storytime, creating a library not just for reading but also for learning.

“We want it to be as flexible as possible because we don’t know where libraries are going to be in five or six years,” says Phil Callison of Perkins + Will.

The library’s total cost is about $6 million, and it has not been included in the proposed 2012 bond program.

“Our biggest needs right now are flood control, streets and economic development,” says assistant city manager Joe Zapata. “In 2006 we passed the biggest bond package in Dallas history, $1.35 billion, when the economy was good. Now, things have changed.”

In the meantime, the current library at Royal and the Dallas North Tollway will remain open.

Churchill Recreation Center expands

For the past nine months, Churchill Recreation Center at Churchill and Hillcrest has been under renovation, constructing a new fitness center, large multipurpose room and bathrooms. The $1.4 million addition is set to open in April.

Designed locally by DSGN Associates, the 1,500 square-foot fitness center features an open floor plan and natural light, and is equipped with new treadmills, bikes, elliptical machines and weights. The multi-purpose room can be used for any type of gathering.

“It can hold about 80 people for everything from bridge games to yoga classes,” says recreation center manager John Lux.

The exterior includes rows of vertical, steel sunscreens on the windows to protect against extreme heat during the summer.

With the expansion came a slew of new classes, including: square and round dance, Pilates, Zumba, kung fu, oil painting, “Score” fitness for seniors, boot camp, Irish dance, hip-hop, jazz, ballet for toddlers and Saturday basketball.

Funding for the new addition came from the 2006 bond package.

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