Bridgeport Public Libraries

LOCATION: Bridgeport, CT
NEWFIELD BRANCH: Completed in 2021
BEARDSLEY BRANCH: Completed in 2022

In 2013, the Bridgeport Public Library (BPL) embarked upon the process of creating a master plan of their five (5) branch facilities throughout the City. In coordination with MSR of Minneapolis, Antinozzi Associates was awarded the contract to provide a comprehensive study of options for the future of the facilities. Based on the results of the study, and the need to meet challenging demographic and technological program changes, the BPL purchased three sites to renovate or newly-construct branches that would revitalize the City’s East End neighborhoods and reinvigorate the BPL’s community impact.

The library program for each branch revolved around the idea of “Tech Centers.” The main features of these new tech centers include: spaces dedicated for children, teen, and adult use; a community room, large/small study rooms, a library “marketplace”, numerous computer stations, wi-fi capability, and outdoor courtyards for reading or gathering.

The first tech center was the relocation of the Newfield Library branch back to its original site in the early 20th century. The existing brick masonry building is a Carnegie library built in 1900. The building is two (2) levels of approximately 3,400 SF per level and was completely restored/renovated to meet the program and code compliance. A one-story addition of 8,000 SF connects levels of the existing structure. A portion of the main level is at grade to provide an accessible entrance to the main library functions. This portion is the community wing available for use after hours. The addition sits on a plinth and aligns with the upper floor of the existing building. It incorporates a combination of brick (to match the existing building), accent brick, and simulated wood composite metal panel.

The second project following the Newfield Branch was the construction of a new branch in the Upper East Side of Bridgeport, named the Beardsley Branch, now accommodates a neighborhood not previously served by the BPL. This $4M design/build project with Downes Construction, is a single-story 6,400 SF facility incorporating critical program requirements for the East End community. The new Community Room offers space that is available during and after library hours as a gathering and meeting venue. The primary library space offers a technology-focused environment that provides access to computers, individual/group study and work space, staff collaboration areas, and other digital media. The design layout allows more open collaboration in the center with a perimeter of study rooms and AV labs for more private use. Located on a prominent intersection in the neighborhood, the branch is a fully accessible location with easy access to public transportation.