EDUCATION
07/03/2012 05:09 pm ET

Walmart Abandoned In Texas Renovated Into Chic New McAllen Public Library (PHOTOS)

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.

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