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After approving a $10.9 million relocation and expansion of the Walnut Creek Branch Library, voters on Nov. 3 will decide whether that library will be built at Hollabaugh Park.
A key element in the City’s May 2019 bond election, a new Walnut Creek Branch addresses a glaring need in West Garland.
“I am so excited about this opportunity to be able to provide our patrons a new and larger facility that will allow us to better serve the Garland community,” said Karen Archibald, Garland’s director of library services.
Neighborhood use has far surpassed the capacity of the 8,000-square-foot branch at 3319 Edgewood Drive. Walnut Creek’s 61,000 annual visitors compete for nine computers. Its program room can hold only 30 people and there are no study rooms.
The need for a technological makeover may be an even worse problem than cramped space. Study rooms at the new Walnut Creek Branch will be outfitted with video conferencing capabilities. There will be more computers and scanning and maker-space capabilities.
In addition to a larger program room, the plan also calls for designated teen space that the current facility doesn’t offer. A larger capacity to develop new and expanded library collections -- an extra 10,000 volumes – will be a benefit, especially to children.
After deciding a new library was needed, voters on Nov. 3 will get a say on a proposed site.
The City looked for property that would accommodate a 16,000-square-foot building and parking – ideally with access to a major street and within a mile of the existing library. However, those conditions for relocation proved difficult in built-out West Garland.
The City’s Hollabaugh Recreation Center, 3925 W. Walnut St., has adjacent land that is highly visible and large enough for the library and its parking. And it’s practically around the corner from the Walnut Creek Branch that has served the community since 1975.
Since the site is part of Hollabaugh Park, voters must approve any non-park use of a park. It’s been decided that west Garland will get its new library. This is a question of “where.”
The Parks Board, Library Board and the City Council all voted to put the item on the ballot. Plans for the area also call for greater uses of Watson Park, which is within a half mile of the Hollabaugh site. A futsal court, splash pad and playground replacement are scheduled at Watson.