Genealogy Library and Administrative Library Building
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2020. The timeline is subject to change based on weather conditions and other factors.
Expected Completion Date:
Frequently Asked Questions
What will be located at the Genealogy Library and Administrative Library Building?
The new Genealogy Library and Administrative Library Building will house the Library District’s unique and substantial genealogy and local history collection. Currently, the collection resides in a 5,500 square foot area at Library Headquarters in Ladue. Due to a lack of space, a large portion of the collection at Library Headquarters must be stored in closed stacks and is not accessible to the public. The new Genealogy Library will make those items available to the public for the first time. The new Library will showcase over 100,000 items including print items, 850 periodical titles, 40,000 microfilm rolls, and a variety of electronic databases. Several rare collections will also be housed in the new Library including the St. Louis Genealogical Society Collection, the National Genealogical Society Book Loan Collection, the Julius K. Hunter and Friends African American Research Collection and the Jewish Genealogical Society of St. Louis Collection.
Designs for the new Genealogy Library and Administrative Library Building are still in progress, but the approximate usage will be 25% for History & Genealogy, 70% for centralized Library operations such as Customer Connect (the Library’s telecenter, which answers online questions and over 3,000 calls from the public each week), Bookmobiles, Adult Programming, Children's Programming, Human Resources, Finance, Marketing, Information Technology, Book Cataloging, Book Processing, Book Selection, Administration and Foundation. The remaining 5% will be used for storage.
The Library Foundation raises $1 to $2 million of private funds each year. The proposed project in Frontenac will include $2 million in private support.
Is the new Library building a warehouse?
No. The new Genealogy Library and Administrative Library Building is not a warehouse.
The facility will be home to the History & Genealogy Department which includes a professional staff to assist the public, a unique collection, private study rooms, and other research tools. The Library building will also provide a centralized space for the Library District’s staff, who conduct support services for the entire 20-branch library system. The administrative part of the building will only be open Monday – Friday until 5:00 p.m. Staff work times will be staggered to help reduce traffic concerns.
How will this new Library impact traffic?
This development will improve traffic flow in the area by adding a traffic light at the intersection of South 40 Drive and Spoede Road. That intersection is currently rated an “F” by the traffic study conducted by Lochmueller, Inc. After the Library is built, the intersection will be rated “B.” The final recommendation by MODOT was to install a traffic light at South Forty Drive and Spoede, at the end of the roundabout. The Library District will pay for the cost of the light.
Most Library personnel will arrive and leave via I-64 and will drive directly into the Library’s parking lot. In addition, employees will have staggered arrival and departure times.
Why build a Library at this particular location?
St. Louis County Library spent over 5 years looking for property, which included a review of over 20 different options for lease or purchase. The search criteria was very specific. The land must be in the District, within the set budget, be centrally located in St. Louis County, have good access to a major highway, and be near the current Headquarters location. The property at the corner of Spoede and Clayton Road was the best option for the Library District. It met all of the search criteria and the price was under the land budget.
The Library District’s Facilities Master Plan has always called for a separate Administrative Center. However, in addition to looking for land and a leased space, the Library Board considered an option to include all of the functions on the current land in Ladue. The Library worked with an architect on a design, but determined there wasn’t enough space to make it viable.
In addition, efforts to secure a piece of land for the Genealogy Library separate from the Administrative Library Building failed. The ability to showcase the world class History & Genealogy collection is an added benefit of this purchase, particularly to the private donors that supported a centrally located site for the Genealogy Library. Those private donations will be used for construction.
Purchasing the land at Spoede and Clayton Road eliminates the need to lease a costly temporary facility for staff at the cost of $8 million while construction is underway on the new Headquarters and results in operational cost savings for years to come, thus saving millions of dollars.
Has the land been appraised?
Yes. On August 27, 2019, Frontenac’s Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved the Library’s request for a Boundary Adjustment to combine the five lots owned by the Library into one lot. The consolidated plat has been filed with the Recorder of Deeds for St. Louis County. Following the consolidation, the Library requested an appraisal of the land. The appraisal determined that the Value in Use of the new 5.9 acre parcel, as it will be used by the Library, at $6,320,000, which is more than the purchase price of $6,100,000.
Will there be a fueling station on site?
No. There will be no fueling capabilities on site now or in the future. The Library District’s four bookmobiles, along with other service vehicles, will be located at the new Genealogy Library and Administrative Library Building. All Library vehicles will obtain fuel at gas stations located throughout the County.
What is your tree preservation plan?
The Library District submitted a Tree Preservation Plan to the City of Frontenac in August 2019 and it was unanimously approved by the Architectural Review Board. A certified arborist evaluated the trees on the property. The majority were deemed to be in fair, poor or critical condition; 113 trees were removed, 104 of which were not of good quality. Landscaping for the project will include the planting of 247 new trees, more than double the number that were removed. The Library will plant 79 canopy trees (red maple, white oak, river birch, etc.), 47 understory trees (serviceberry, redbud, dogwood, etc.) and 121 evergreen trees (at the property boundary for screening). When fully developed, the new trees will produce a canopy in excess of four acres of coverage. View the tree preservation plan.
Why build in a neighborhood?
Nineteen of the Library District’s 20 locations are located within residential areas. The twentieth location will move from a storefront to a residential neighborhood in Eureka in 2021. The Library Headquarters in Ladue, where all of the planned activities for the Library facility in Frontenac are currently located (including the bookmobiles), is located in the “B Residential” zoning district and is surrounded on three sides by homes.
Throughout the development process, the Library has taken measures to ensure the new Library building is a good fit for the neighborhood. The design process has included plans to help minimize traffic concerns, plant new, healthy trees and reduce light pollution. The footprint of the building is 44,000 square feet. The planned parking area is visually screened by layers of trees and landscaping from the townhomes to the east. The Library will feature 15% more accessible parking spaces than are required. The building and site were designed in cooperation with MSD; bio-retention water quality basins will treat 100% of rainwater runoff prior to releasing it to the storm sewer system.
What is the timeline?
Construction on the new Genealogy Library and Administrative Library Building is scheduled to begin in 2020. The timeline is subject to change based on weather conditions and other factors. The project is expected to be completed in 2021.
Has the City of Frontenac reviewed and approved this project?
Various permits and approvals have been issued by the City of Frontenac, including:
- June 20, 2019 – Land Disturbance Permit issued
- August 8, 2019 – Underground Storage Tank Removal Permit issued
- August 27, 2019 – Boundary Adjustment - Unanimous approval by Frontenac’s Planning and Zoning Commission to consolidate the five lots into one
- August 29, 2019 – Tree Preservation Plan – Unanimous approval by Frontenac’s Architectural Review Board
- August 29, 2019 – Retaining Wall Plan – Unanimous approval by Frontenac’s Architectural Review Board
- September 3, 2019 – Demolition Permits issued
- September 5, 2019 - Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) approved
- September 30, 2019 – City performed and approved final demolition inspection
What will happen to the current Headquarters on Lindbergh?
Following the completion of the Genealogy Library and Administrative Library Building, a new branch library will be constructed at the current Headquarters location, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd. The new library will be a full service branch and will include an event space, a small business center, a teen maker space and other amenities. The new branch is expected to be completed by 2022.
New 80,000 square foot library building located near the intersection of Clayton Road and Spoede Road in Frontenac, Missouri. View additional renderings.
The building will house a new Genealogy Library and an Administrative area for staff.
The Genealogy Library will hold SLCL’s substantial genealogy and local history collection which includes over 100,000 print items, 850 periodical titles, 40,000 microfilm rolls, and a variety of electronic databases, as well as several rare collections including the St. Louis Genealogical Society Collection, the National Genealogical Society Book Loan Collection, the Julius K. Hunter and Friends African American Research Collection and the Jewish Genealogical Society of St. Louis Collection. Currently, the collection resides in a 5,500 square foot area at Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
The Administrative area will support all materials processing, bookmobiles, programming development, information technology, marketing, and administration for SLCL’s 20-branch system.
Throughout the development process, SLCL has taken measures to ensure the new library building is a good fit for the neighborhood. The design process has included plans to help minimize traffic concerns, plant new, healthy trees and reduce light pollution.
A traffic light, paid for by the Library District, will be installed at the corner of Spoede and South Forty Drive to help improve traffic flow, bringing the traffic rating of that intersection from an “F” to a “B”. Landscaping for the project will include the planting of 247 new trees, more than double the number that were removed. The building will feature lighting designed to reduce spillover into the surrounding neighborhood.
The footprint of the building is 44,000 square feet. The planned parking area is visually screened by layers of trees and landscaping from the townhomes to the east. We are creating 15% more accessible parking spaces than are required. The building was designed in cooperation with MSD; bio-retention water quality basins will treat 100% of rainwater runoff prior to releasing it to the storm sewer system.