New Bethany library taking shape
By Henry Dolive For The Oklahoman Published: February 7, 2018 5:00 AM CDT
BETHANY — Steel superstructure is in place on Bethany's 23,000-square-foot public library that is being financed by an $8.1 million bond approved by city voters last year and about $2 million in Metropolitan Library System funds.
Arlita Harris, Ward 2 city councilwoman and chair of the library steering committee for the city, said construction is on schedule for a planned opening late this year.
Harris said the planning and zoning commission will consider plans for the playground and park improvements Feb. 15, and the city council will consider them Feb. 20.
The plans include a gazebo and amenities for a handicap-accessible park that will be developed adjacent to the new library.
Shiloh Enterprises Inc. in Edmond is the general contractor for the library, with a winning construction bid last year of $5,738,000 that included demolition of Bethany's original library building.
Proceeds from the voter-approved bond will cover construction costs and overall campus improvements, Harris said. Library system money financed preliminary architectural drawings and will cover the cost of computers, other equipment, furnishings and library materials, she said.
The new library is being built at 6700 NW 35 in Bethany, immediately south of Bethany city government and police operations.
The library will include artwork inside the library and on the grounds, meeting space, drive-up book drop, quiet reading area, teen center, children's program section, outdoor reading porches and an increased collection of materials. The revamped campus will include walking trails, pond improvements and extensive landscaping.
Harris said construction crews hope to complete the library's exterior before the wetter spring and summer months so that work inside the library can begin.
Bethany's original library opened in 1965 but had become outdated and cramped. Current library operations are housed in temporary space at 7941 NW 23.