After the August 14th grand opening, Fort Worth’s Reby Cary Youth Library has welcomed guests to its specially designed library and community space. Working with KAI designs, the $5.49 million space connects families and children to “growth, exploration, and learning” per Mayor Mattie Parker.
The library was completed after the funding was approved by voters in 2014 with an estimated $3.25 million budget.
“We are so excited to open the doors on this new library, and we know Fort Worth families are going to love it,” said Library Director Manya Shorr. “The laser-focus on children and youth will allow the Reby Cary Youth Library to go above and beyond the excellent work all our libraries provide to the community. It is fitting that Reby Cary’s name is on the building, as not only was he a barrier-breaking pioneer in so many aspects, but his priority was children and preparing them for bright futures.”
The library is named after Reby Cary, an educator, politician, writer, and historian from Fort Worth. He was the first black man on the Fort Worth school board and served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1979 to 1985.
KAI Designs, one of the country’s largest minority-owned design and build firms, is headquartered in St. Louis, with offices in Dallas-Fort Worth, Kansas City, and Atlanta. The project also worked with FPI builders of Fort Worth, Texas.
The design also worked with the artist Creative Machines to create an interactive, suspended public art installation from the ceiling called “Only Connect.” The installation features over 20,000 glass marbles with cascading LED lights that can be controlled by visitors to manipulate its lighting colors and patterns by the simple touch of a button at the sensor points distributed in the library.
At the grand opening, special guests such as Mayor Mattie Parker, District 8 City Councilman Chris Nettles, Library Director Manya Shorr, former City Councilmember Kelly Allen Gray, Faith Ellis, the daughter of Reby Cary, also participated in the ceremony.