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Posted on: May 19, 2022

Library Foundation Reveals Walmart Champion for Expansion

Big Reveal PR thumbnail

Bentonville, Ark – Bentonville Library Foundation (BLF) announced at The Big Reveal Event on Wednesday, May 18 that Anthony Soohoo, Executive Vice President (EVP) of the U.S. Home Division at Walmart, will be the Champion for BLF’s Library expansion campaign.

Soohoo shared the news via prerecorded video that “the Bentonville Public Library is a wonderful gem woven into the fabric of our growing community…That’s why I support building a better future and making room for more for the Bentonville Library.”

The Big Reveal Event was a private event held at Bentonville Public Library (BPL) with two identical sessions for loyal supporters, library affiliate groups and community leaders. The two sessions were held at 11:30AM and 5:30PM. 

Also in attendance were representatives from MSR Design, Flintco and Hight Jackson; Mayor Stephanie Orman and Arkansas State Library Director Jennifer Chilcoat. Members of Altrusa International of Bentonville/Bella Vista AR, Inc. assisted with check-in, food and tear down.

MSR Design, the architecture firm contracted by the Library, attended the event to present the most updated plans in the works for the Library expansion. The presentation revealed the anticipated look and feel for both the exterior and interior of the library. 

MSR took inspiration from the natural and cultural environment in the community. Highlights of the current renderings include a “gracious” entry with a community hub, a makerspace and updated veranda, according to MSR Design Senior Associate architect Kristilyn Vercruysse.

BLF formed a panel at the event to facilitate discussion and answer questions from attendees with members Howard Kerr, Angie Bailey and Steve Galen. Kerr, President of the Library, said, “Our goal is to support the City’s project to build a bigger library that makes room for more of the quality offerings BPL provides.”

Chilcoat commented, “What I appreciate about the design is that it’s an invitation to the community that is sure to spark a sense of wonder.” Mayor Stephanie Orman welcomed attendees and praised the incorporation of the storm water gardens which creatively seek to solve drainage issues in the area. 

Library Director Hadi Dudley offered a special presentation. She said, “Everyone from MSR Design, Hight Jackson and Flintco are working together to make this the best library expansion it can be. I am most excited to share MSR’s new renderings with our dedicated supporters and the community.”

New information is on bentonvillebond.com for community members that would like to keep up to date on the new stage of the expansion process. The Library is excited for what is coming next and hope to bring the community along for the journey. 

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