A-WKS was chosen for our extensive experience in community-based design as well as our emphasis on sustainability. While performing a feasibility study for a library the team realized that the clients needs went far beyond the scope of a conventional library. An opportunity existed to consolidate several services under one roof, improving communication and interaction between the city government, the police department, the city management and the school district in addition to the community at large. This new facility would become the focal point of a growing city and the surrounding rural community. Our focus was three-fold: develop a civic presence; incorporate abundant natural light; and integrate sustainable building material systems.

Civic presence is a function of architectural identity and user satisfaction. The form of the building is bold, punctuated by flourishes of zinc and stainless steel that give it a "high-tech" look. But its real presence is rooted in how well it has satisfied the needs of its users.

Natural light is crucial to user comfort and productivity. Every space in the building is abundantly day-lighted, especially the library, to reduce the need for artificial lighting systems, eliminating unnecessary operating costs while improving the overall quality of the interior environment.

Sustainable building materials and systems are used throughout. Heating and cooling are provided by an extensive geothermal system, which dramatically reduces the overall energy cost. In addition to the geothermal HVAC system, the building also incorporates T-5 fluorescent lamps, many environmental products such as recycled rubber flooring, linoleum and straw board at the gymnasium walls.

The concentration of our focus resulted in a building that functions well on multiple levels. The architectural identity is unique and strong without being overbearing. End user satisfaction is extremely high, surpassing our own expectations. The interior environment is both comfortable and energy efficient.