San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 14th, 2011
Kyle breaks ground on new library

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Ground was broken on a new Kyle public library Thursday. Left to right: Kyle Councilmember David Wilson, Kyle Mayor Lucy Johnson, Kyle Councilmember Becky Selbera, Kyle Councilmember Diane Hervol, Library Building Committee Member Mo Johnson, U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett, Raymond Construction Senior Estimator Tom McClanahan, Library Building Chairperson Kathy Ryan, and Kyle Councilmember Jaime Sanchez. City of Kyle photo.

STAFF REPORT

City officials in Kyle broke ground on a long-awaited library Thursday. The ground breaking came after nearly four years of struggle to replace the old library, which the city outgrew long ago.

U. S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) and other onlookers were present as ground broke on the 20,000-square-foot library, which is budgeted for $3.567 million.

“We’ve been talking about building a new library for a very long time,” said Kyle Mayor Lucy Johnson. “We are all very excited to finally be moving dirt and preparing to build this lovely facility. I believe our citizens are going to be very proud of this library and that it will add a great deal to the character of our entire city.”

After campaigning against the city’s mounting debt to win election, Johnson and other councilmembers have sought austerity in city finances. But they actually added to the library’s original $3.2 million budget when they approved construction in May 2010.

The new library, to be located on the west side of downtown, will replace a 5,000-square-foot facility that has served the city since 1962. The city’s library building committee began serious work on finding a location since the spring of 2007. Kyle city councils have consistently agreed on the need for a new library, but struggled to settle on a budget and location.

The indecision contributed to the downfall of former City Manager Tom Mattis, who riled old timers and downtown advocates with his evident preference for a Plum Creek location. Mattis resigned in April 2010. A month later, the Kyle council gave the final high sign for library construction.

“These are difficult economic times, and library services are more important than ever during times like these,” said Kathy Ryan, chairperson for the library building committee. “The library building committee and the library patrons truly appreciate the support that the mayor and city council have given to the library building project.”

The library will feature community rooms to accommodate meetings and gatherings, as well as special areas for teens and young children. Expanded computer areas and an outdoor plaza feature also will be included.

The exterior of the building will feature limestone and brick, mirroring the design of Kyle City Hall.

“After having seen what our library staff can do at our current facility, I am very excited to see what they can produce out of this new and very modern facility,” new Kyle City Manager Larry Lambert said.

Completion of the new Kyle Public Library is expected by early to middle 2012. The architect is BLGY, Inc., and the contractor is Raymond Construction, Inc.

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