Ector County Library Advisory Commitee provides new update on costs of the library

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Published: Aug. 21, 2021 at 7:07 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - The committee says that would cost about $15 million -and that would be much cheaper than building a brand-new library with high-quality technology-that’ll be double at $30 million.

The committee has researched all throughout the Midland-Odessa area to collect annual budget reports and other information that could help see the potential future of a new library in Ector County.

If they plan to renovate the current one it won’t be ahead of its time.

“The library behind me will take 15 million dollars to repair. That is plumbing. That is electrical. It’s HVAC. It’s structural, but after all that’s done it will look exactly as what it does now. Which is 30 to 40 years behind the times”, says Randy Ham, the chairman of the Ector County Library Advisory Board.

The committee realized during the pandemic that if they want to take the current library into the future, it needs to offer more access to the internet for Ector County residents.

“Especially in an area that is internet challenged as we are and we found that out during the pandemic. So, two things that we thought were very important were to reduce the size of the print footprint and increase the technological offerings. The ebooks, the internet access. The computer terminals. Things like that”, says Ham.

The library committee thinks it could benefit from trying to replicate the Centennial Library.

“If we were to replicate Centennial Library in Ector County, that would be about 30 million dollars. It would also be way more technologically advanced. It’d be ahead of the curve, and I think it would be more in line with what the community needs”, says Ham.

The committee is planning to survey library cardholders soon to get their input on what they’d like to see in the new library.

Once they gather that data the committee will make a final recommendation and present it to the Ector County Commissioners.

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