RIVERVIEW — Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library director Andrew Breidenbaugh says a library can't succeed unless it's fulfilling the wishes of the community.
That's why Breidenbaugh and other county officials recently met with Riverview residents to discuss four proposed sites for the area's new $7 million library: one on Hackney Drive east of U.S. 301 and north of the Alafia River; two on Malthog Road west of U.S. 301 and south of the Alafia; and a fourth on Balm-Riverview Road south of the Alafia and east of U.S. 301.
Breidenbaugh said the community definitely deserves a bigger and better library. With a booming population, the area has outgrown its facility at 10509 Riverview Drive, an aging 8,000-square-foot building that opened in November 1979 and suffers from environmental issues including dampness.
"We are actually spending more money keeping up with the building, which we already have outgrown," Breidenbaugh said.
The current site also is not large enough to accommodate the new 25,000-square-foot, five-acre design.
The March 3 meeting at the Riverview Civic Center drew more than 70 people who studied maps of the four sites. The county developed the potential sites through special requirements, including five acres and access to utilities and roads.
Many residents utilized the meeting time to analyze the sites, ask questions and express concerns. The Hackney Drive location seemed to be the top choice for many residents.
"We prefer the Hackney Drive location because it seems to be the less congested area," Patty Rende and her husband, Larry Giorgio, said.
Katherine and Michael Casey said they prefer the Hackney location because it is relatively close to the Winthrop retail and residential development.
Overall, the new library will be three times larger than the current one. It will feature more meeting spaces, new reading areas, more technology places and separate children's areas.
The new library is targeted for completion in mid to late 2018. For more information, go to hcplc.org/hcplc/locations/riv.
Contact Tatiana Ortiz at [email protected]