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The MLK Memorial Library Overcomes the Coronavirus Pandemic and Other Challenges

Today’s coronavirus pandemic didn’t stop the Smoot|Gilbane team to deliver substantial completion of the $211-million Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library project in Washington, D.C., on budget and one day early. The three-year effort transformed the historic deteriorating 48-year-old building into an information and community centerpiece that blends the best of the physical and digital worlds in a modernized 21st-century environment.

Peter Ege, Smoot’s Project Executive, describes in an article titled D.C. Library System’s Crown Jewel Revamped written by ENRMidAtlantic, how the Smoot|Gilbane team successfully worked through several of the project challenges to complete the project.

A redesigned entryway, monumental helical stairs, 200 seat auditorium and a double-height reading room are just some of the spaces that provide a wow factor immediately when a person walks into the 426,000-sf building. And kids won’t want to leave the giant wooden slide adjacent to the 13,500-sf children’s area. The facility also includes music and art studios and learning labs for trade students.

Peter believes people who visit the MLK Library will be inspired by its modernization, especially children, and hopes everyone sees this was not just another D.C. project, but a great example of improving the heart of the city’s fabric.