The Chicago-based architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill will design Appleton's new $26.4 million public libraries.
An 11-member panel of city staff, elected officials and residents unanimously selected SOM over 10 other architectural firms that submitted proposals. The selection was endorsed by the Finance Committee and Library Board.
Projects designed by SOM include the Chinatown, Little Italy and West Loop branch libraries in Chicago and the Billie Jean King Main Library in Long Beach, California. It also was chosen to design the Mulva Cultural Center in De Pere.
Library project manager Dean Gazza had high praise for SOM.
"They know how to tie the library in with the neighborhood and how to build the community," he said. "It isn't just a place to house books. It's a place to build community and interconnect with the neighborhood."