The Central Library will be celebrating the completion of major renovations — made possible by $3 million from the City of San Antonio’s 2017-2022 Bond Program — with a grand reopening.

On April 1, regular service returns for a majority of the library when the first and third floors reopen for the first time since March 2020. The two floors feature new spaces and more access to technology for patrons. 

San Antonio Public Library Director Ramiro Salazar said the project enhances the Central Library as a world-class resource, offering access to information, programs and a myriad of services for visitors. 

“Central Library is an integral part of the City of San Antonio, and we know this is a much-anticipated reopening,” said Salazar. “This renovation project improves many of our most popular spaces to keep up with the evolving needs of our community.” 

Renovations were done on 10,000 square feet of the first floor, where visitors will encounter a new main desk and an art walk. An inclusive restroom with adult-sized changing tables also is located on the floor.

A rendering of the renovations of Central Library featuring a new main desk. Credit: Courtesy of Marmon Mok

On the third floor, where the Children’s Library is located, a new story room was added, along with flexible programming space, an interactive early literacy play area, family restroom, lactation room and a computer lab. Renovations were completed on 16,000 square feet of the floor.

After the library reopens, 36 laptop computers that can be checked out for in-library use and mobile phone charging stations will be added on the first and third floors.

As of Friday, renovations were still underway at the library. Crews are installing glass panes and lighting and arranging furniture, shelving and equipment. The exterior of the library was repainted last year to return it to its enchilada red hue

Library staff has also begun placing books back on the new shelving and setting up the spaces so they are ready for the public.

The sixth floor of the Central Library will remain closed as it prepares for extensive renovations to its Texana Resource Center. Funding for this project includes $500,000 in private funds raised by the San Antonio Public Library Foundation. 

The center will feature a new design, upgraded study areas, a new classroom space, improved wayfinding and a new gallery display. 

The April 1 reopening event begins at 10 a.m. at the library at 600 Soledad St., with speeches and a ribbon-cutting. The festivities continue with activities that include an exploration of the improvements, a children’s scavenger hunt, an adult education open house, karaoke for teens, live music and light refreshments.

This article has been updated to correctly state the status of the repainting project.

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Raquel Torres

Raquel Torres is the San Antonio Report's breaking news reporter. She previously worked at the Tyler Morning Telegraph and is a 2020 graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University.