There was a celebrative feeling on October 17th at the Vail Innovative Center as members of the Steering Committee for the Southeast Library received the news the Pima County Board of Supervisors had that day approved the hiring of Tucson architecture firm Burns Wald-Hopkins Shambach Architects to design the library.  The contract for the 9,000 square foot facility is in the amount of $317,517 with a contract term from October 17, 2017, to December 1, 2019.  The design will implement conservation LEED elements sufficient to obtain 50 or more points per LEED v4 edition.

The location for the public library will be on Mary Ann Cleveland Way next to Empire High School on county property purchased for Esmond Station Regional Park. The location was selected to be cost-effective due to the easy access to infrastructure. “When we lived in town, my children were able to benefit from multiple programs and services at our local Library. Because Vail is so far from the nearest library, we have not had those same experiences since we moved here. It is a shame that my kids have missed out on those opportunities,” said Ethan Hurley, co-chair of the Southeast Library Steering Committee and Vail School District Director of College and Career Preparation. The total budget project is $4,500,000 and does not include furnishing. The community will be expected to raise the funds for the furnishings. “The value of this library to our incredible community is immeasurable. Now is the time we need to come together as neighbors and friends to plan it, build it, fill it (with books, computers, programming, and people), and enjoy the fruits of knowledge for many years to come,” said Ed Buster co-chairman of the Southeast Library Steering Committee, vice chair of the Pima County Library Advisory Board and president of the Santa Rita Foothills Community Association.

Architects from Burns Wald-Hopkins Shambach will hold community meetings in order hear from the public as to their wants and desires for the facility. The newest estimate is that the library will open earlier than anticipated with an opening date in the fall of 2019.

(Pima County Library Deputy Director Karyn Pretchel distributed the materials for this article at the meeting.)

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Anne Gibson