Fantastic News – Dothan to Build Two New Libraries
September 27, 2012
On Thursday, September 27, 2012, the Dothan community received a wonderful announcement that our public libraries are taking a bold and positive step forward ! This initiative will clearly be another jewel in our city’s quality of life.
The Houston-Love Memorial Library Board has awarded the contract for construction of two new libraries in Dothan to local General Contractor Mike Lewis of Lewis Construction.
The Groundbreaking Ceremony is scheduled for October 17th at 8:30 am at the downtown location and the public is invited to attend. Simultaneous construction of a new 23,000 square foot main library downtown and a 13,000 square foot branch within Westgate Park will begin right away and is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
The new libraries are the result of a two-year campaign kicked off in September 2010 with a survey of what residents want their libraries to offer. Survey feedback led to a strategic planning process and resulting service priorities. An expanded, re-energized library board, advised by a nationally-renowned library consultant, met one-on-one with elected officials, community leaders and potential donors. The responding overwhelming financial support has been gratifying and shows a concerted effort to improve the quality of life in Dothan.
The Library Board has met the challenge announced in February by the Wiregrass Foundation: to raise $4,500,000 from public and private sources to match a $3,000,000 contribution from the Foundation. The Dothan City Commission voted to support the project with $2,500,000. Houston County Commissioners are contributing $1,000,000 in cash and in-kind services and the Library Board has received donations and pledges of more than $1,000,000 to bring the $7,500,000 project to fruition.
This unprecedented partnership between the City of Dothan, Houston County, the Wiregrass Foundation and generous individuals and corporations is testament to the importance of education in our community, both for residents and for economic development and recruitment. The new spaces will improve access to technology, expand library services and enhance materials and programming available. Fundraising efforts continue to establish an endowment for support of ongoing operations.