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.
Photos courtesy of Lara Swimmer.