Dayton, Ohio — The Dayton Metro Library contracted with Woolpert to provide engineering services for several branches — Miamisburg, West Carrollton, West and Southeast — as part of the library’s comprehensive facilities upgrade. The upgrade, made possible by a $187 million bond levy passed in 2012, intends to transition the facilities from the traditional “books and bricks” libraries to modern community centers with cutting-edge technology.

“They’re redefining libraries and building on the widely held belief that a community with a library grows, excels and prospers,” said Rich Simpkins, Woolpert engineering team leader. “This retooling will take them away from the textbook and make these libraries modern media centers that encourage collaboration.”

For the Miamisburg Branch, Woolpert is providing structural and civil engineering, as well as mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP).

“We’ve utilized 3D BIM in Revit, to make the project accessible from a communication standpoint,” Simpkins said. “It was fully coordinated in-house. It is our understanding that this branch also has been one of the first libraries to be tracking on budget, with very few changes to the design.”

Woolpert is in the initial stages of structural and MEP engineering for the West Carrollton and Southeast branches, and the initial stages of structural and civil engineering for the West Branch. As this phased work continues, there is the possibility of more collaboration as this upgrade progresses. The library is consolidating its 20 branches into 16.

Woolpert is a national architecture, engineering and geospatial firm, headquartered in Dayton.

The Dayton Design Collaborative (DDC) is a partnership between LWC Inc., Levin Porter and Ruetschle, and they are the lead architects for the Dayton Metro Library projects.

John Fabelo, a partner at LWC working on the Main Library Branch downtown, cited the regional importance of this project. “We are aware that what we are working on is a building that will make a difference on our community; this will change lives,” Fabelo said. “We all take for granted our access to books and ideas, but part of our community doesn’t have this opportunity. This will provide that opportunity.”

Woolpert is working with Levin Porter on the Miamisburg Branch and with LWC on the West Branch, and is continuing to bolster its engineering portfolio with other local architects. Recent collaborations have included work with KZF Design on the University of Cincinnati College of Business, with MODA4 Design for the North Village Restaurant at the Fuyao Glass America plant and with BHDP Architecture for the renovation of Kettering Tower to house CareSource.

Simpkins said Woolpert wants to become more involved with its local communities and is striving to be the engineer of choice for area design firms. “Our group here in Dayton has truly enjoyed working on projects that they can physically see coming out of the ground, and we love being a part of projects that will be as embraced in their communities as these libraries,” Simpkins said. “From a morale and community involvement standpoint, architects and engineers are looked up to in the community for making that community better. Molding and forming the areas in which we live is what we want to do, and we’re getting back to that.”

The Miamisburg Branch is set to open Jan. 2, while the West Carrollton, West and Southeast branches are slated to open between July and October 2018.