Aramco Americas receives 2020 Igniting Impact Award from Houston Public Library Foundation

Aramco Americas receives 2020 Igniting Impact Award from Houston Public Library Foundation
Artist rendition of the new TECHLink Library slated to open at the beginning of 2021.

Aramco Americas received the Houston Public Library Foundation's 2020 Igniting Impact Award during its 4th annual Beyond The Page fundraising event for support of Houston libraries with its donation of $1.6 million to rebuild the Amanda Dixon Neighborhood Library, located in the Trinity Gardens community on the city's north side.

The donation to fully fund a state-of-the-art library concept, called TECHLink, represents a successful public and private sector partnership benefitting Houstonians. Construction commenced quickly after the donation and the Dixon TECHLink Library is now slated to open the beginning of 2021.

The decision to support the rebuilding of the Dixon Library came about as an outgrowth of the company's Hurricane Harvey relief program.  Aramco launched an extensive collaboration with community partners and the City of Houston to learn how it could best support the long-term rebuilding of Houston.

“It was a natural fit for us and for the city with such a strong tradition of innovation in energy and engineering,” said Alma Kombargi, Public Affairs, Aramco Americas.  “We are a big believer in STEM education and look to inspire and serve as a catalyst for others to join in support of Houston public libraries.”  

This is the first standalone TECHLink library in the city.  The Scenic Woods Regional Library underwent a major renovation to include digital creative spaces and now the Dixon TECHLink Library powered by Aramco serves as an example of one of the best new library models in the nation incorporating digital and information technologies.

“Aramco's corporate investment in the under resourced Trinity Gardens community bridges the technology divide and goes light years beyond free access to computers and the internet.  They are changing the future through their social investment,” said Licia Green, Board of Directors Chairperson, Houston Public Library Foundation, who presented the award to Aramco.

The just under 3,000 square foot facility incorporates a lot of technology in a small space:  meeting space with virtual-reality gear, a 3D printer, a laser cutter, embroidery station, recording studio with instruments; a video studio complete with a green screen for special effects and, of course, computer stations with internet access.

The library's design has flex spaces to adapt over time to accommodate new technologies and equipment as they become available.

“The modern design concept became an outward expression of the Houston Public Library's mission to link the community to technology,” said Kathleen English, Principal, English + Associates Architects, Inc. designers of TECHLink.  

English says the library incorporates Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) sustainable building practices throughout, including material selections, building placement on the site,  use of north facing glass to reduce heat gain and improve energy efficiency and LED lighting throughout to reduce energy consumption.

On the outside, the design utilizes surface drainage as much as possible to increase infiltration and improve storm water quality.  The library's finished floor is elevated above the prior height to help protect against future water damage.

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