HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - South Huntsville is getting a new library, and taxpayers will likely be bearing more of the cost.
Thursday, the City Council is expected to pass a $9,266,270 contract with Pearce Construction to begin construction on a new library on Bailey Cove Road as part of the Sandra Moon Complex.
Huntsville city and the Madison County Commission both initially paid $2 million toward the effort, and the library foundation is actively fundraising for interior furnishings.
Huntsville City Administrator John Hamilton said the approximate funding share for the contract is $5.7 million from the city, $2.3 million from the county and $1.5 million from other donations.
District 3 Huntsville City Councilwoman Jennie Robinson said the foundation has raised just below $2 million.
She said the city and the county commission have agreed to up their investment to fill in the gap.
“We’re still waiting on the donations to come in. We also think there are going to be more that will come in, and so they’ll just make up the difference on whatever that gap is," she said.
She said the city’s decision is based off the benefits the library will bring to the community.
“Some people have referred to libraries as the community’s living room, and that’s because the nature of libraries is changing. It’s not just a place where you go in, check out a book and go home. It’s a place where ideas are exchanged," Robinson said.
The foundation website states amenities include:
- An open/bookstore-style floor plan
- Private study rooms with the latest technology available in each space
- Art gallery
- An indoor fireplace for cozy reading
- Studio lab
- Plenty of natural light
- Family bathroom facilities
- Separate children’s story-time room
- Interactive early literacy center
- Tween gaming center
- Separate teen space
- Outdoor seating
- State-of-the-art technology
Robinson said the project downsized by turning the already constructed old Grissom High School lunchroom into conference space originally planned for the library.
South Huntsville resident Linda Meigs said the library is a must.
“Absolutely worth it. People of all ages, children through senior adults use our library. Our little bitty branch library here that’s been doing wonderful things, those fill up, and then where do you go?” she said.
Once the paperwork is signed, the library is expected to open its doors in early 2021.