Our New Library
New South County Library and Historical Archives Plans are Moving Forward!
The City of Punta Gorda has given Charlotte County 6.2 acres of land for the new South County Community Library and Archive.
The new site is located at 401 Shreve Street. This is adjactent to the History Park.
This new library will replace the existing 9,145 square foot Punta Gorda Library. This current library is the smalllest in the county while being the second busiest library in the county.
THe estimated $6.9 million project cost is being paid for from the Charlotte County Sales Tax Extension 2015 Fund.
The Charlotte County Commission approved Harvard Jolly, Inc. of Sarasota to design and build the new library. They have built 55 other Florida libraries. Harvard Jolly specializes in old Florida Design. They are members of the American Library Assoication and the Florida Library Association.
Public Meetings were held in January and March, 2016. The first meeting was to ask for public input and the second meeting was to share the concept drawings of the interior and exterior of the building. More citizen input was given. The Charlotte County Commissioners have been updated on the cost and the county staff is looking for ways to adapt the new design to meet the budget.
The Board of Directors of the Friends of the Punta Gorda Library passed a motion to ask the City of Punta Gorda City Council to request the name of the new library to be retained as The Punta Gorda Library. Friends President Katie Mazzi spoke at the City Council Meeting and the City Council Members passed this motion.
Charlotte County hosted another Public Input Meeting in August, 2016. The attendees were given a chance to review interior colors and flooring. The information was also available on the County Website. People could vote on their choices through a survey. One of the major concerns continues to be the exterior design of the new building. Under currect budget the outside of the building has been referred to as looking like a box store. Discussions continue on funding and design.
News stories continue to fill the paper about the cost and design of the library. The Friends appreciate the community support for our new and much needed library. Following the death of Board Member Mary Knowlton, the issue was raised by some in the community to name the new library after her. However, Mary's family, and the Friends Board, know how much Mary wanted the new library to be named the Punta Gorda Library. We are asking that the library be named the Punta Gorda Library and dedicated to her memory.