Fulton County voters will vote Nov. 4 on a $275 million bond referendum for the construction, expansion and renovation of public libraries.
The bonds would provide funding for the detailed Library Facility Master Plan, which includes eight new libraries, the expansion of two and the renovation of 23. The 20,000-square-foot Buckhead Library and 25,000-square-foot Sandy Springs Library are among the 23 slated for renovation.
The bond issue includes $84 million for the construction of a new Central Library, with the remaining amount need for the project, approximately $85 million, coming from private funds.
“A public-private partnership will not only make the new Central Library more financially feasible, but it presents an opportunity for private citizens and the business and philanthropic community to demonstrate their support for their library system,” Dist. 6 Commissioner Nancy A. Boxill said.
The library’s master plan was developed over two years, including public comment sessions throughout the county. The plan maintains 34 libraries, the current number in the system, by eliminating leased spaces and the oldest libraries.
Fulton County last issued a library bond in 1988.
“I am glad that the board took this opportunity to demonstrate vision and leadership,” Dist. 2 Commissioner Robb said. “The cost for average homeowners will be less than the cost of a cup of coffee every month. Certainly an investment in the education of our children is worth that and more.”
John F. Szabo, the director of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, said: “This is a great day for libraries and for the Fulton County citizens who value what libraries bring to their community. We are grateful for the leadership of the Board of Commissioners in recognizing the importance of public libraries and to the citizens who continue to voice their support and opinions. We are one step closer to having the world-class library system we know Fulton County residents want and deserve.”
A summary of the master plan is available at www.afpls.org.