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Library plans groundbreaking

This conceptual drawing depicts the new facility for Madison Public Library at 142 Plaza Blvd. CONTRIBUTED
This conceptual drawing depicts the new facility for Madison Public Library at 142 Plaza Blvd. CONTRIBUTED
MADISON – Officials will break ground for a new facility for Madison Public Library on Nov. 2 at 4 p.m.
Library patrons and other residents are welcome to attend the groundbreaking at the library’s new address, 142 Plaza Blvd., two doors east of the existing building.
Immediately following the ceremony, a reception will be held at the current library at 130 Plaza Blvd. Plans and drawings for the new library will be on display.
The existing building was constructed in 1997 and designed to serve a population of 25,000.
“Anyone who has visited our library in the past couple of years knows that we are bursting at the seams,” Madison Public Library Manager Sarah Sledge said. “We’re so fortunate to have a community that not only supports the idea of a great library for Madison but also heavily uses it.”
“The challenge we are faced with every day is how to adequately and proactively provide services and quality programs for so many people with limited space to accommodate the wonderful, free things we offer,” Sledge said.
The Madison branch is second only to the downtown library for circulation. Madison provides 600,000 items in circulation annually, serves 17,400 households, issues more than 4,100 library cards annually and is in proximity to 13 public schools.
The new building will have 25,000 square feet. An open, bookstore-style floor plan will allow easy browsing. Larger spaces for meetings will be accessible after hours. Private study rooms and a small board are included.
An art gallery will feature rotating collections. New spaces will include a Studio Lab and interactive, early-literacy center.
New amenities will include these accommodations:
* Indoor fireplace for cozy reading.
* Family bathroom facilities.
* Separate room for children’s storytime.
* Separate teen space.
* Large outdoor screen for movie screenings and presentations.
* Natural outdoor amphitheater.
* Innovative technology for printing and researching.
The City of Madison has committed to an $8.5-million bond. Estimated cost is $10.2 million, leaving a $1.7 million gap. Redstone Federal Credit Union donated $833,333, leaving a balance of $1 million in community fundraising. Interested donors can email Susan Markham, director of institutional advancement, at smarkham@hmcpl.org.
“We’re thrilled to have an opportunity to increase our presence in the Madison community,” Markham said. “Young, old, rich, poor … we literally provide the same products and services for free to everyone who walks through our doors.”
For construction information, visit HuntsvilleLibraryFoundation.org/Madison or Facebook/newmadisonlibrary.

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