It’s been a year since the George W. Hawkes Central Library closed its doors. 2015 saw demolition of the former Central Library building across the street from City Hall on East Abram Street. In its place new development will soon rise.
At the same time, plans for the library’s new flagship location have progressed.
“We plan to finalize construction documents for the new Central Library by the end of December,” Director of Libraries Cary Siegfried said in a statement. “It’s exciting to move into 2016, because this will be the year when the new Central Library becomes more than sketches on paper. It becomes a physical reality that people will see developing in the heart of downtown.”
Groundbreaking for the new library, which will be located north of City Hall and west of Center Street, could take place in mid-March, according to the city. Construction is expected to continue through December 2017, with a grand opening in the early spring of 2018.
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In mid-September, after adjustments to the architectural style, the City Council approved plans for the exterior design of the building.
Meanwhile, residents can visit any of the library’s seven locations citywide. The Central Express facility at 200 N. Cooper Street is operating as the temporary downtown library during the transition and offers computer access, Wi-Fi connectivity, new adult and children’s materials and high-demand DVDs. Material may be placed on hold for pickup
Patrick M. Walker