ZEPHYRHILLS – Architects unveiled the design for a new city library that draws inspiration from historical photos of the old City Hall, the original high school and the city's train depot.
The facility will be built with bricks and cast stone, with plenty of windows and a covered drive-through drop-off book return. Inside, there will be a large meeting room, separate teen and children's areas, private study rooms, a computer area and plenty of room for the library's book collection. To accommodate patrons who bring their own laptops or other portable devices, the public areas will have an abundance of electrical outlets, said Philip Trezza, vice president for Harvard Jolly architects.
"It's going to be the best looking building in town," said council member Kent Compton. The council unanimously approved the plans Monday evening.
The council voted in 2011 to spend $1.5 million of Penny for Pasco funds to double the size of the current 4,000-square-foot library, built in 1960 on Eighth Street, just north of City Hall. The design presented Monday evening would cost an estimated $1.7 million to build.
City Manager Jim Drumm said there is time to massage the plans for cost savings. Plans for a parking area across the street, with a relocated butterfly garden, for instance, could be treated as a separate project with its own funding source.
Officials should have construction documents and plans completed by October, with bidding commencing in November, Trezza said. Construction is expected to start in January and take all of 2014. A grand opening should take place in January 2015.
Council president Lance Smith acknowledged it's taken awhile to get the project moving, but said the time invested will be worth it.
"You want it to be a focal point, something that says something about your community," said Smith. "This certainly does."