The estimated $600,000 build-out, overseen by County Attorney Vince Ryan, whose department runs the library and has its offices upstairs, is occurring in the space where jurors assembled prior to a new jury building opening last year.
Ryan described the library’s former home on the 17th floor as “quiet, calm, empty.” Visits to the library fell from 5,302 per month in 1998 to 2,744 last year.
Putting the stacks in about 16,000 square feet of space off the lobby and adding a coffee bar, Ryan hopes, will increase foot traffic.
Among the changes is an arrangement with the Houston Bar Association to offer pro bono legal services at the library, about 75 percent of whose visitors are not lawyers. That step will accompany the build-out of a 7,000-square-foot basement area, which Ryan’s chief of staff Robert Soard said should be completed by next summer.
The law library will have a grand opening in early January, Soard said.
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