City looks at library expansion

In News by Reporter News

Pearland city leaders on Monday moved forward with a planned expansion to the city’s Tom Reid Library.

City Council does want more feedback, however, from library staff and users on exactly what that expansion should entail.

“I’m sure we can work with Wilson and get some alternates,” City Manager Clay Pearson said.

The $326,500 contract was awarded to Wilson Architectural Group. The proposed renovation includes an approximate expansion of 11,000 square feet to the current 20,000 square-foot facility at 3522 Liberty Dr.

But the expansion plans were based on a preliminary study of library needs done for the 2007 bond election. The work was “postponed due to financial reasons,” according to city documents, and the original cost estimate of $3.4 million for the expansion has since inflated to $3.66 million.

Council members wanted to ensure the library’s current needs align with those of the 2007 study.

“There are going to be some tweaks to what was originally planned in 2007 to incorporate some technology,” assistant City Manager Trent Epperson said.

“The technology I get,” Councilman Keith Ordeneaux said. “My vision of a library moving forward is a social space vs. a collection of books. I could be wrong; if other people want to talk, let’s talk.”

“In 2007, we were the only library in town,” Mayor Tom Reid said. “We were leading pretty heavily on use of the facility by citizens, and we’re still leading in the county. In 2007, there was just the idea that we need more of what we’ve got.”

“I think we need to take a hard look at what we need in a library today,” he added. “It may be we need more computer opportunities, more conference rooms for people to gather and work. It’s going to be a challenge, but I think it’s important to figure out how we can serve people in the best possible way.”

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