About 200 elected officials, other dignitaries and members of the public gathered at the newly renovated and expanded 51,000-square-foot facility. The library, located at the intersection of Spring and Gregory streets, is the main branch of the West Florida Public Library system.
A wing of the new facility was dedicated to Maurice Bartholemew, a firefighter who died in the line of duty in 2000.
The revamped library — expanded for the first time since 1957 — is now home to nearly 120,000 books, 15,000 CDs and 50 computers. The children’s section is twice the size of the old one and there is a new meeting room that seats up 200. The project cost $7.7 million.
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The new 51,000 square-foot facility features a wave themed area for children and teens, access to nearly 50 public computers, community meeting rooms, a coffee shop, and a Friends of the Library bookstore.
The library which has gone entirely green is also the first City facility to gain LEED certification.