City Of Opelika approves new public library

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Courtesy of  the
City of Opelika

Mayor Gary Fuller, the Opelika City Council and the board and staff at Lewis Cooper Jr. Memorial Library are excited to announce plans to build a new library for the city of Opelika.

The current facility, completed in 1976, has served the community well for over 40 years. Originally intended to house 46,000 books, a children’s section with a reading well, an art gallery, a historical room and an audio-visual room, the current needs have outgrown the building’s capacity. Over time, those spaces have transitioned to meet the needs of a rapidly growing city.

The new Opelika Public Library facility, which will be located at 1100 Glenn St., will expand on the library as a community space. Amenities include increasing the number of individual study rooms (appropriate for one to two people) from two to four, adding two group study rooms suitable for up to 10 people, creating two group meeting rooms suitable for 30 to 40 people and adding a large auditorium that will seat up to 250 people with a warming kitchen perfect for event catering needs.

All spaces will be available for reservation and will be able to host a variety of events and meet various community needs. Additionally, the library will increase the computer lab capacity and add a family computer lab for those with small children.

The new facility will expand on in-library Chromebook circulation so users will not be confined to the computer lab for digital access needs.

Other exciting features include:

Outdoor space for families to gather and play

A covered pavilion that is reservable and will be able to be used for the O-Grows Farmer’s Market

Accessible restrooms with changing facilities and a restroom for kids and their caregivers in the children’s area

Increased capacity for materials

Space for teenagers to gather and study or relax

An updated genealogy and quiet reading room

Once construction begins, it is expected to take 12 months to complete. Updates will be added online (www.cooperlibrary.com). Lathan Architects and Robbins and Morton will be utilized throughout the project.

“We are excited to use this new space to continue growing as a community hub,” said Library Director Rosanna McGinnis. “Though you can borrow books and movies and attend fun and educational programs, we want to continue to become a dynamic and responsive institution. We want to build up our community and work with other local agencies to make sure all community assets are fully utilized by those who need them.”

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