Without a library bond, League City staff assessing Helen Hall Library’s needs

Despite there being no bond on the May 4 ballot for the Helen Hall Library, League City staff have hired consultants, held meetings and created an online survey to determine the library’s needs.

On election day, League City residents will be able to vote on two separate bonds to fund $145 million worth of drainage and traffic fixes. The League City City Council considered including a more than $20 million bond for the library but eventually voted against adding it. A survey showed the majority of League City residents would not support funding a new library when fixing flooding and traffic congestion are priorities.

Library advocates for months have been promoting the idea of opening a library on League City’s west side. Consultants are gathering feedback to determine what, if anything, is necessary, including building a new library branch on League City’s west side or expanding or renovating the existing library. League City is only halfway built out, and new residents will move to the west side, prompting officials to think about the library’s needs 20 years from now, consultants said.

Library staff held a public meeting Feb. 6 to discuss current and future needs. Library architect Maureen Arndt with 720 Design led a presentation of other libraries she has designed and asked attendees what they would like to see.

Several residents said the library should be a community center and include play spaces, outdoor plazas, meeting rooms, cafes and other amenities to make it a destination. The existing library has only one meeting room, which leads to scheduling conflicts, one resident said.

Others said they want to see the library move toward the future with multimedia rooms and the latest technology. The library was built in the 1970s and is not optimal for today’s technology, residents said.

Some westside residents avoid going to the library due to traffic, and some would rather go to the Friendswood library than trek through League City to get to the Helen Hall Library, they said.

Consultants and staff will use feedback from meetings, surveys, interviews and city administration to provide conceptual designs, including cost estimates, for possible solutions, Teresa Potter-Reyes, assistant city librarian for access services, wrote in an email to Community Impact Newspaper. Ultimately, it will be up to the League City City Council to decide what to do, the consultants said.

The consultants encouraged residents to take an online survey to help them determine the library's needs.
By Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper.



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