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Library Expansion Begins in December

Groundbreaking on the expansion could start before Christmas.

A long-awaited expansion to the Upper Tampa Library could begin as early as December, county officials said this week.

The 11,000-square-foot expansion would include a larger teen room, more space for the used bookstore and more meeting rooms.

The library has an active teen board, which they hope to expand, said Maureen Gauzza, president of the Friends of the Upper Tampa Bay Library.

The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners allotted more than $2 million to fund the library expansion as part of a $9.4 million one-time budget motion for renovation projects at the Upper Tampa Bay, Jimmie B. Keel, and Bloomingdale libraries.

The county is now negotiating a contract for construction management for the Upper Tampa Bay library, said Swati Bose, manager of Hillsborough County architectural services.

After County Commissioners approve the contract at their Nov. 15 meeting, construction would begin in the next two weeks, Bose said.

The expansion will take about 10-12 months. The library will remain open most of the time, however, some sections could be blocked off as the work progresses.

Programming at the library, including story time and computer classes would continue through the renovations, said Jean Peters, chief librarian for the county. 

What do you think about the proposed expansion? Is it a good use of tax dollars? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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