Johnson County's newest library, the Monticello branch under construction in Shawnee, will open to the public on Aug. 5.
The new branch is at 22435 W. 66th St., east of the intersection of K7 and Shawnee Mission Parkway.
The $18 million facility will be one of five in the Johnson County library system with Sunday hours, and its inaugural events will take place during what will be regular Sunday hours, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
"We know how eager our residents are to get into this beautiful facility," Library Board Chairwoman Nancy Hupp said in a statement. Opening day will feature tours of the two-story, 30,000-square-foot facility and chances to meet the Kansas City artists, Jim Woodfill, Stephen Lichty and Beth Nybeck, creating public art for the site.
The new library will have drive-up windows for retrieving library materials, multiple community rooms, an attractive children's area, and a "storywalk path" to help kids learn about letters and sounds. It will also have automated equipment to get books and other materials back into circulation more quickly.
Residents of western Shawnee have been clamoring for a new library since the 1990s, as growth in Johnson County has spread that way. After years of recession and budget constraints, the Johnson County library system is in major growth mode.
The Johnson County Commission approved a property tax increase in 2015 that is allowing new facilities in both the library and parks systems. In addition to the new Monticello library, a new $21 million library is under construction in the Lenexa City Center, 8778 Penrose Lane, and is slated to open in 2019. It will replace the popular but cramped Lackman branch near 87th and Lackman.
The architect for the facility is Clark Enersen Partners and the contractor is McCownGordon Construction.
Additional library improvements are contemplated for Merriam, Overland Park and Prairie Village in future years.