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A new era is arriving in Salt Lake City's Marmalade district and North Capitol Hill with the opening of a state-of-the-art $4.8 million library.
The Marmalade Branch of the Salt Lake City Library will open Saturday and officials expect it to be the cornerstone of revitalization in the area.
The two-story, 18,000 square-foot facility at 500 North and 300 West features study spaces, a cafe, public computer stations, a children's library, study rooms and an idea room with a 3-D printer.
The second floor contains a multi-purpose room and "community space" leading to a veranda that overlooks a new plaza and offers views of the Capitol Building and the city skyline. A temporary wall on the north side of the library boasts bright murals painted by students from kindergarten to 12th grade from nine schools.
The space will differ from the other six branches of the city library system to meet the demands of the surrounding neighborhood, which includes providing resources for the students at Washington Elementary School.
"It is a great gift to us from the community," said branch manager Safi Safiullah. "And this is a trust that we will return to the community."
West High School senior Marcus Webster said he likes the location two blocks from his school.
"With all these new resources," he said, "it's fantastic.
The Grand Opening Celebration is set for 10 a.m. Saturday and will include remarks from city officials and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Activities suitable for all ages will continue throughout the day, according to library officials.
Planners expect the library will serve as an anchor to redevelopment in the district north of West High, with future commercial and residential expansion. The development area is slated by the city's RDA for multi-story, mixed-use buildings, including town houses, condominiums and open space.
Blalock & Partners designed the bright new facility, which includes a number of energy-efficient building details, such as LED lighting.
Library Board member Luana Chilelli said she thinks the community will embrace the new facility.
"It has the flavor of Marmalade," she said. "It's going to be the hot spot in the community."