LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As the saying goes, you can’t always judge a book by its cover.

Very few would have guessed that the old Fones Brothers Hardware Store building, in a once run-down warehouse district, would eventually become the main library of the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) in 1997.

Now, developers are breaking out the tools again for a remodel.

CALS on Tuesday announced a massive renovation to better serve the River Market district and region. CALS Executive Director Nate Coulter said on Tuesday that changes will be made from a new exterior to remodeled interior designs.

Coulter said the $20 million project speaks volumes about the community that the library serves.

“This is a site of the commitment of this community to learning and resources of the library that’s what the voters did to re-commit,” Coulter said. “We are spending the $20 million that voters have entrusted to us to do a lot of great things. It’s going to be an exciting place.”

The next chapter of the library will begin to unfold in September. Work is expected to be completed in about a year and a half.