A total replacement of the Central Library, complete with a new parking garage, is no longer feasible, city officials say, although they did ask the City Council for $3.5 million “to keep the dream alive.”
Because the city has been unable to secure a state grant of up to $26 million, it has been unable to tap a bond approved by voters in 2003 worth about $14 million. This inability to access necessary funding is delaying the project.
Meanwhile, the projected cost for the original plan — including knocking down the existing library for a new facility and garage — has grown to more than $100 million, placing it far outside the reach of city officials.
The City Council last week approved Public Works Director Bonnie Teaford’s request for $3.5 million to get the project that much closer to fruition, or as Teaford put it, “keep the dream alive,” bringing the total amount allotted to the Central Library project to roughly $5.1 million.