The current Lewis & Clark Branch opened to the public in 1963. The building is 16,000 square feet on two floors and has undergone several renovations over the years, but is no longer considered practical for a modern library. Space restrictions, the lack of study rooms, quiet spaces and seating throughout the branch, and the need for more computers are the most common issues cited by patrons at this location. The Facilities Master Plan recommends constructing a new 20,000 square foot building on the present site.
The new Lewis & Clark facility will feature three different computing areas (including an instructional lab), an expanded children's area with a program and crafts center, a space for teens, a business center featuring fax and copy machines, multiple study rooms, a meeting room and improved green space outside of the branch. The building will be a safe and accessible place for people to visit for information, programs, collaboration, community and fun.
St. Louis architects KAI are working on the new Lewis & Clark Branch. Design plans are being developed. The preliminary budget is $6.5 million. This project was made possible by the passage of Prop L in November 2012.
The current branch will remain open during most of the construction period. The new Lewis & Clark Branch is estimated to be complete in 2015.