Tennessean, March 29
It’s news the Bellevue community has waited nearly a decade to hear.
Plans for the new library branch are in motion. The land is being acquired and the doors should open in 2014.
The library’s board and the Metro school board have both approved the acquisition of the 4-acre site on the grounds of Bellevue Middle School at Baugh and Colice Jeanne roads.
The city plans to build a 25,000-square-foot library, five times the size of the existing branch. Construction costs are estimated at $10 million and would need to be approved by the Metro Council in the city’s next capital spending plan. Mayor Karl Dean has indicated he plans to submit a capital spending plan at the same time he submits an operating budget this spring, said Bonna Johnson, Dean’s press secretary.
The new branch’s site will be less than half a mile from the existing library at 650 Colice Jeanne Road. The current library, which opened in 1984, is part of a complex that includes a fire station and community center and does not include suitable space for expansion.
Metro initially had planned to locate a new library at the Bellevue Mall but changed course after redevelopment plans for the mall did not come together.
The current branch is the fifth-busiest branch in circulation in the Nashville library system and ranks sixth in the number of patron visits.
“We are anticipating this will be one of the busiest locations, if not the busiest branch,” said Elyse Adler, administrator of special programs for the Nashville Public Library.
“The city administration has always been committed to a new Bellevue library. We want to give them the big, beautiful library that they deserve. It took a little while for all the pieces and parts to come together.”
The library has hired consultants who will come here at the end of the month to help revise its 2007 building plans. There will be a series of community meetings in the near future to gather input from residents about the design of the new branch.
Officials say the branch will be LEED-certified and the nearby walking track that is widely used by the community will remain. There will be at least 100 parking spaces and possibly a cafe.
“We really want to get the patron feedback,” Adler said.
Patrons who use the current branch have very little elbow room and scramble for a parking spot.
“It will be nice to have an updated facility because the branch is pretty small and parking is sometimes an issue,” said Amy Frogge, a Bellevue parent of two.
“Having a new library will help revitalize the community, and people will be more likely to visit.”
Contact Nancy DeVille at 615-259-8304, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @devillenews.