Cedar Park explores two locations for new library

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The city of Cedar Park is evaluating two locations for its new library.

Cedar Park voters approved $20.5 million for renovations or construction of the city’s library in a 2015 bond. In the fiscal year 2017-18 budget, the city set aside $45,000 for an assessment to help evaluate potential locations and library programs.

Cedar Park City Council began to narrow down library options in November by focusing on two possible sites for the facility and what the building could offer. Katherine Caffrey, Cedar Park assistant city manager, walked through three options for the future facility.

The first option is to build a new 50,000-square-foot library. Caffrey said the plan would offer the most design flexibility by building a facility to fit the city’s needs. She said City Council could also choose to expand the facility in the future if needed.

The second option is to join with a development partner to build a 70,000-square-foot library in phases, Caffrey said. The plan includes an additional 80,000-square-foot facility, such as a museum or a civic center, for a 150,000-square-foot shared facility.

Council also discussed expanding and renovating the existing library at 550 Discovery Blvd., Cedar Park, although council members directed city staff to focus on the first two options.

The city owns about 5 acres in the Cedar Park Town Center, which sits next to the Cedar Park Recreation Center on Main Street. The site was identified in the 2014 library master plan as a potential site for the new library.

Council also discussed housing the new library in the future Bell Boulevard redevelopment. Cedar Park is currently in the process of realigning about 1 mile of US 183 near Buttercup Creek Boulevard, which will open up space that city leaders hope to create into a mixed-use destination district.

Caffrey said city staff would not currently explore other sites unless they receive direction from City Council. She said the city hopes to hire a consultant by the end of the year to evaluate the potential locations and library offerings. The city is scheduled to begin design on the library in 2019.

“When you have multiple options for what new library to get and where to put it, 2019 feels like tomorrow,” Caffrey said.

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Caitlin covers Cedar Park and Leander city councils and reports on education, transportation, government and business news. She is an alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin. Most recently, Caitlin produced a large-scale investigative project with The Dallas Morning News and led education coverage in the Brazos Valley at The Bryan-College Station Eagle. After interning with Community Impact Newspaper for two summers, she joined the staff as a reporter in 2015.
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