Cedar Park explores two locations for new library

If Cedar Park City Council choses to build a new library, the facility would be larger than the current library on Discovery Boulevard.

If Cedar Park City Council choses to build a new library, the facility would be larger than the current library on Discovery Boulevard.

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.
By Caitlin Perrone
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.


MOST RECENT

Williamson County saw a big drop in daily reported coronavirus cases Aug. 5. (Screenshot courtesy Williamson County)
Williamson County sees big drop in daily reported coronavirus cases Aug. 5

The county did report three additional coronavirus-related deaths.

The Confederate Soldiers Monument stands on the south grounds of the Texas Capitol. A group of Democratic lawmakers have called for its removal, along with other statues and portraits honoring the Confederacy. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
State legislators seek removal of Confederate monuments at Texas Capitol

The decision may ultimately lie with Gov. Greg Abbott and the rest of the State Preservation Board, which last year authorized the removal of a plaque in the Capitol that said slavery was not an underlying cause of the Confederate rebellion.

budget
Cedar Park, Leander begin FY 2020-21 budget discussions

Leander and Cedar Park will begin discussions of their FY 2020-21 budgets on Aug. 5 and Aug. 6, respectively.

Here is the Williamson County COVID-19 case update for Aug. 4. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Williamson County confirms 98 new COVID-19 cases Aug. 4

The county reported no additional deaths.

The Commissioners Court also voted to set a maximum total tax rate of $0.458719 per $100 valuation, which is the current tax rate. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County commissioners accept $390.37 million recommended budget for FY 2020-21

The Commissioners Court also voted to set a maximum total tax rate of $0.458719 per $100 valuation, which is the current tax rate.

virtual-learning
Cedar Park preschool starts program to help elementary students learn virtually

The program will create a "school-like" classroom for virtual students to learn safely outside their homes.

In the last year, Whataburger launched a new, modern restaurant design and began offering curbside and delivery services for the first time amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the release. (Courtesy Elizabeth James for Whataburger)
Whataburger to celebrate 70th anniversary, unveil food truck, expand into 3 states

Nine more new Whataburger locations are planned by year's end, and 35 new restaurants are proposed for 2021.

The project will reverse the northbound I-35 entrance and exit ramps at the SH 45 intersection to alleviate traffic congestion, according to an Aug. 4 Texas Department of Transportation news release. (Courtesy Fotolia)
I-35 construction from Grand Avenue Parkway to SH 45 now underway

The project will reverse the northbound I-35 entrance and exit ramps at the SH 45 intersection to alleviate traffic congestion, according to TxDOT.

The U.S. Census Bureau will halt its counting operation a month earlier than expected. (Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau)
U.S. Census Bureau to halt counting operation a month earlier than expected

The self-response deadline has moved up to Sept. 30.

The total number of reported COVID-19 cases more than doubled in Williamson County in the month of July, according to Williamson County and Cities Health District data. (Graphic by Chance Flowers/Community Impact Newspaper)
See how COVID-19 impacted Williamson County in July

The total number of reported COVID-19 cases more than doubled in Williamson County in the month of July, according to Williamson County and Cities Health District data.