San Antonio’s famous Central Library reopens after years of renovations

Renovated first, third floors will reopen on April 1

SAN ANTONIO – The “Big Enchilada” library in downtown San Antonio has reopened after years of improvements.

The Central Library opened on April 1 with a newly renovated entry on the first floor and a children’s area on the third floor. In the $3 million renovation, the library also received its first fresh coat of paint in over 10 years.

“Central Library is an integral part of the City of San Antonio, and we know this is a much-anticipated reopening,” SAPL Director Ramiro S. Salazar said in a news release. “We are excited to share the improved spaces with the residents of San Antonio and visitors to our city.”

Parts of the library were open during the improvements that started after COVID-19 hit, but the majority of the building was closed.

The renovations on the first floor include a redesign of the main entrance for improved accessibility and security. There is now a new main desk, art walk and inclusive restroom.

On the third floor, the Children’s Library at Central was redesigned to include a new story room, early literacy play area, flexible programming space and computer lab for families.

Construction is still taking place in the Texana and Genealogy Department on the sixth floor. That area is getting a new design, upgraded study areas, a new classroom and a new gallery space.

The indoor renovations were funded through the 2017-2022 bond program

“This renovation project enhances San Antonio’s Central Library’s place as a world-class resource offering access to information, programs, and a myriad of experiences for our users and visitors,” Salazar said. “This renovation project improves many of our most popular spaces to keep up with the evolving needs of our community.”

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Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.