In November 2013, the majority of citizens approved the use of $23.2 million in bond proceeds to build a new main library and renovate the existing library or build a new branch library.
With additional space, the library will expand its core services to children, teens and adults, as well as technology and more types of meeting spaces and program rooms. The proposed branch could include the same services as the main branch, with the exception of genealogy and local history.
The community is very fond of our historic building and location on Main Street. Based on feedback from the community, there is strong support to locate the main library as close to downtown as possible.
With that in mind, we have good news to share. We may have found a premier location in downtown Round Rock.
The city and the Round Rock school district are working together to secure a location next to CD Fulkes Middle School, located at 300 West Anderson Avenue. We are still working on the details, but we hope to secure the site by the end of summer. Once the location is secured, it could take about three years to complete the project.
Since the bond passed, the City Council and city administration have been actively searching for a location for the new main library. Selecting a site in downtown Round Rock has been a challenge. You can’t just pick anywhere to build the new library.
There are specific criteria that we need to follow to ensure we find the best possible location for our growing community. Architect Lisa Padilla identified 14 top-site evaluation criteria in a handbook, “Site Selection for Libraries,” published by the American Institute of Architects, which you can find on the library’s website.
Although the bond was approved in 2013, the city has a long list of projects in addition to the library to complete. Parks, fires stations and the police and fire training facility are the other bond projects that were approved by voters.
In January 2014, $1.5 million was issued for land, design and engineering for the main facility. Then in February 2015, the Council announced its unanimous decision to wait on selecting the site for the new library.
At the time, Assistant City Manager Brooks Bennett said, “The Master Plan identified a few premier locations, and the Council has opted to see if one of those locations become available in the not-too-distant future. Money for the new library was slated for the second issuance, which would take place in 2017 at the soonest, so opting to not rush into a location gives the Council the ability to secure a premier location, as identified in the Master Plan, if it becomes available.”
As of right now, we don’t have any forums or focus groups scheduled to gather your feedback, but when we do, the schedule will be posted on our website, Facebook, utility bill newsletter, eNewsletters, NextDoor and other media.
You are always welcome to call or email Michelle Cervantes at 512-218-7010 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit roundrocktexas.gov/library for updates and to find Padilla’s site evaluation criteria.