For McAllen, Texas, one man's abandoned Walmart is another's public library.

After inheriting the abandoned structure, architecture firm Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle (MS&R) was selected to handle the interior development, with the city mandating it be affordable to construct.

According to PSFK, the library is 124,500 square feet, making it the largest single-story location in the U.S. at a size about equal to 2.5 football fields. (See photos below.)

The library's construction could signal a positive change for libraries across the state. In late 2010, a Harris/Reader's Digest Post showed that nearly 40 percent of American mayors said they planned to cut employees and make reductions to libraries, with some even cutting branches completely.

A few states away in Lawrenceville, Ga., a group of teachers at Benefield Elementary School have banded together to work for free during the summer to teach children to read.

"I think it's really important that the [kids] not just be on the computer or watching TV," teacher Karen Stocks told WGCL-TV.

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  • Public Library from a Wal-Mart

    The International Interior Design Association recently selected the McAllen Public Library as the winner of their 2012 Library Interior Design Competition. The city inherited the former Wal-Mart after the retailer closed the store and abandoned it. The decision was made to reuse the structure and create a new main library within. Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. of Minneapolis were selected to handle the interior design which the city required to be functional, flexible and affordable to construct.

  • Public Library from a Wal-Mart

    The International Interior Design Association recently selected the McAllen Public Library as the winner of their 2012 Library Interior Design Competition. The city inherited the former Wal-Mart after the retailer closed the store and abandoned it. The decision was made to reuse the structure and create a new main library within. Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. of Minneapolis were selected to handle the interior design which the city required to be functional, flexible and affordable to construct.

  • Public Library from a Wal-Mart

    The International Interior Design Association recently selected the McAllen Public Library as the winner of their 2012 Library Interior Design Competition. The city inherited the former Wal-Mart after the retailer closed the store and abandoned it. The decision was made to reuse the structure and create a new main library within. Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. of Minneapolis were selected to handle the interior design which the city required to be functional, flexible and affordable to construct.

  • Public Library from a Wal-Mart

  • Public Library from a Wal-Mart

    The International Interior Design Association recently selected the McAllen Public Library as the winner of their 2012 Library Interior Design Competition. The city inherited the former Wal-Mart after the retailer closed the store and abandoned it. The decision was made to reuse the structure and create a new main library within. Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. of Minneapolis were selected to handle the interior design which the city required to be functional, flexible and affordable to construct.

  • Public Library from a Wal-Mart

    The International Interior Design Association recently selected the McAllen Public Library as the winner of their 2012 Library Interior Design Competition. The city inherited the former Wal-Mart after the retailer closed the store and abandoned it. The decision was made to reuse the structure and create a new main library within. Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. of Minneapolis were selected to handle the interior design which the city required to be functional, flexible and affordable to construct.

  • Public Library from a Wal-Mart

    The International Interior Design Association recently selected the McAllen Public Library as the winner of their 2012 Library Interior Design Competition. The city inherited the former Wal-Mart after the retailer closed the store and abandoned it. The decision was made to reuse the structure and create a new main library within. Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. of Minneapolis were selected to handle the interior design which the city required to be functional, flexible and affordable to construct.

  • Public Library from a Wal-Mart

    The International Interior Design Association recently selected the McAllen Public Library as the winner of their 2012 Library Interior Design Competition. The city inherited the former Wal-Mart after the retailer closed the store and abandoned it. The decision was made to reuse the structure and create a new main library within. Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. of Minneapolis were selected to handle the interior design which the city required to be functional, flexible and affordable to construct.

  • Public Library from a Wal-Mart

  • Public Library from a Wal-Mart

    The International Interior Design Association recently selected the McAllen Public Library as the winner of their 2012 Library Interior Design Competition. The city inherited the former Wal-Mart after the retailer closed the store and abandoned it. The decision was made to reuse the structure and create a new main library within. Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. of Minneapolis were selected to handle the interior design which the city required to be functional, flexible and affordable to construct.

Photos courtesy of Lara Swimmer.

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