West Florida Public Library’s Main Library, located at 200 West Gregory Street in downtown Pensacola, will close temporarily in connection with the ongoing construction of a new library building on the site. The closure will begin Sunday, March 18 and last approximately two weeks. West Florida Public Library’s five other branches will remain open during the closure; for a list of locations and operating hours, visit library.cityofpensacola.com.
During the closure, library staff will move books, computers, and other items from the existing building to the new addition, which is expected to be completed this week. After the main branch reopens in the new addition, a complete renovation of the existing library building will begin.
“With completion of the new addition, we’ve reached a major milestone in this project,” said Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward. “By reusing the existing building, we’re getting the most out of every dollar, and with the new building’s energy efficiency upgrades, we’ll save on energy costs while greening our City.”
When construction is completed this fall, a 40,000 square foot Main Library will anchor the West Florida Public Library system. The new building will become the first City facility to gain LEED certification.
“The new facility will provide a quantum leap in library service to Pensacola area residents,” said Library Director Gene Fischer. “The new building is a positive indication of how Pensacola is progressing.”
The finished building will feature an expanded children’s area, new books section, 50 computers for public use, a bookstore, two community meeting rooms, a coffee shop, and an atrium.
The project is funded through $6 million in local sales tax, a $606,500 U.S. Department of Energy grant, and $1 million left over from WFPL’s Tryon Branch on Langley Avenue, construction of which came in under budget. Friends of the Pensacola Library have also contributed $100,000.
CLICK HERE to find a West Florida Public Library near you.