The Sanibel Public Library serves as a community anchor for the island. One that encourages lifelong learning, discovery and enrichment.

In 2015, the Sanibel Public Library District began a campaign called “Your Library Reimagined”. The campaign was designed to reevaluate the use of the building and how those uses could potentially change in the future with a focus on fresh, new, dynamic services and programs for the community. In November 2016, Chris-Tel Construction was chosen to provide Construction Manager at Risk services for the renovations to the facility. Throughout the project, Margaret Mohundro, the Executive Director of the Sanibel Library played advocate for the patrons, being sure to solicit their input regarding the design.

Project Features





The Sanibel Public Library District


HBM Architects

Delivery Method:

Construction Manager at Risk

Completion Date:

December 2018

Construction Cost:


Square Footage:

25,000 SF

To ensure that the design was user driven, Mohundro turned to data collected by the library. For some time, the library had been tracking the “who’s” and “what’s” of the facility’s usage. The findings helped guide the project and determined how the existing space would be redesigned. The redesign included the addition of a flex space, reconfiguration of the meeting rooms and offices, construction of a new book drop, children’s room, Teen Space, adult reading room, two mini computer labs, study rooms, a digitization station, and a “Think Tank” for study and collaboration.

Working in conjunction with HBM Architects, the renovation strategically incorporated colors and textures that reflect the island environment. 41 new floor-to-ceiling hurricane-proof windows were added to the library to help bring the outdoors in, maximize the natural light and showcase the stunning views. Sanibel Public Library District Board Commissioner, Melanie Congress, was quoted at the ribbon cutting saying “The Reimagined project result is library that mixes the latest in high tech library design trends with the laid-back Sanibel aesthetic.”

In addition to the visible upgrades to enhance the users’ experience, the non-visible renovations remained just as vital. A chiller was installed to replace the nine air conditioning units that cooled the library, over two miles of new duct work was added throughout, upgrades were made to the building’s fire suppression system, plumbing and electrical, and a stronger wireless connection network was integrated into the facility. Being that there had been no significant infrastructure improvements since the library’s construction in 1992, these upgrades were long overdue.

Due to the extensive nature of this project, the renovation was divided into two separate phases to minimize disruptions to the library’s normal business operations. The $5.8 million project was successfully completed in December 2018, on time and under budget. With the successful completion of the “Your Library Reimagined” project, the building will continue to serve as a vital community resource for many years to come.

We are delighted with the performance of Chris-Tel… As construction progressed, we were very happy with the many subcontractors and tradespeople overseen by Chris-Tel. Schedules were met, safety was maintained, work was completed. This is a beautiful building and Chris-Tel has truly worked to ensure it remains so.

Margaret Mohundro, Executive Director, Sanibel Public Library