Aiken County Public Library
Originally built as a school in 1891, the Aiken County Public Library building was converted to its current use in 1990. A non-profit group called Friends of the Aiken County Library began raising funds for a significant renovation that would turn this facility into a true 21st-century library that could better serve the people of Aiken. McMillan Pazdan Smith first developed a master plan for the renovation of the main library in 2018. Major goals identified in the master plan included: improved main entrance, additional private reading rooms, dedicated children’s area, increased computer access and technology, group study and multipurpose space, improved visibility and wayfinding, and ADA improvements.
The renovation was done in three major phases over three years so the library could stay operational. The front entrance was redone and improved. A new ADA-compliant side entrance was created with an elevator to the 2nd floor allowing all members of the community to use the entire library. Dedicated children and teen areas were added. Individual and group study rooms were incorporated on both floors. More computers and improved IT infrastructure were added, including electronic check-out kiosks. Finally, new furnishings and carpet were installed throughout the building to modernize the library’s appearance and functionality. The project was completed in January 2022.