A unique, combined public library and nature center is nearing completion at the White Tank Mountain Regional Park. Located in Waddell, the 29,000-sq-ft project being built by Mortenson Construction, along with DWL Architects and Ameresco Solar, will be completed this fall.

Among its distinct features is the joint use of space and offering of amenities provided by both the Maricopa County Library District and the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department. The $8.2-million project is comprised of steel and concrete tilt panels.

A 4,500-sq-ft nature center will offer a �critter exhibit� that houses area wildlife, public meeting rooms that open directly into the park, numerous educational displays and programs that support both park and library use. A coffee shop also is planned to provide a relaxing, social venue for patrons

Targeting LEED gold, the project includes decomposed granite parking, high-efficiency, motion-sensor interior lighting, design that minimizes sunlight-generated heat from entering the building while still allowing for natural light, low-flow plumbing fixtures, on-site waste water treatment, native desert landscaping and rooftop solar collectors.