After serving the community for nearly three decades, the Sunrise Library will undergo renovations aimed at better serving its surrounding population.
The library, 5400 E. Harris Ave., is scheduled to undergo renovations in the youth center, which includes the story time room, the multipurpose room and the youth service room in order to cater to its large student population.
“This particular library actually serves more schools than any of our libraries and has a large student population,” said Tom Fay, deputy director and chief operations officer of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District. “We wanted to get more space for our youth services without expanding the library.”
Fay said that since the library is a limited-size building, plans to renovate the space had to be looked at in terms of flexibility so as to not diminish the parking lot.
The Sunrise Library was completed in 1987 and has not been sized appropriately to meet the demands of its youth population, Fay said. The library serves 36 schools, including 25 elementary schools, six middle schools and five high schools, according to the library district’s Community Connect demographic system.
It also serves more than 11,000 infants and toddlers younger than 2.
“The renovation will make spaces very flexible so that we don’t have to go through these types of expenses every couple of years,” Fay said.
The story time room will be redesigned and a new entrance will be added between the youth services room and the multipurpose room.
The library’s large multipurpose room in the youth area will take out its stage and use the new layout to separate the space into multiple rooms that can host classes and show movies.
“One of the big problems that we’ve had here is that there are no computers for children,” Fay said. “Right now, everything requires technology, including their homework.”
To address this setback, the renovation will also include approximately 22 computers and 12 laptops for youths. The laptops will be placed in a smaller and supervised room that will be open during limited hours.
The laptops are also a necessary component of the TechArt Studio program the library hopes to host in the near future. The workshops will teach youths video-making skills, digital photography, graphic design and disc jockey skills.
The renovation also is set to include a fire suppression system, which the library lacks because it was built prior to the building safety requirements.
A colorful entrance will be added for children, with a sun ornament hanging from the ceiling and more natural light.
One of the goals of the library is to create a family space with more chairs and learning tools devoted to early childhood literacy.
“One of our big things is making sure that parents are engaged in seeing how their child is learning and learning with them,” Fay said. “We want to do a lot of family classes that give parents the tools needed to teach their child how to read.”
Fay added that the library would also receive a new model of staffing where employees will be placed in service points throughout the building. Staff members would receive a tablet computer to make them more mobile instead of being at a fixed desk.
In addition, the adult section of the library will receive new carpeting.
One class that will be affected by the planned renovations is the Guitar Basics for Beginners class hosted by Deanna Causey, assistant branch manager at the Sunrise Library.
“My class is a mixture of senior citizens and teens, “ Causey said. “I just try to make the class fun and teach my students a few simple chords and songs to increase their confidence.”
Causey has taught her students songs from Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Who, the Ramones and Pink Floyd.
The class is set to meet from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Jan. 18 and Feb. 15. Future classes are to be determined, depending on available space.
The renovation is estimated to cost $1.3 million and is scheduled to last until June, before the summer reading program starts.
Fay said the teen and adult sections of the library are being looked at for renovations with next year’s budget.
“The goal of this project is to keep as much of the library open at all times,” Fay said. “This will be an exciting change for the community. We want to make the library a fun learning space for the children.”
Contact Sunrise/Whitney View reporter Sandy Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4686.