Wasilla Library moves to new, multimillion-dollar facility
The Wasilla Public Library is on the move. The Main Street location will be closed for the next month while staff get settled into their new building on Crusey Street.
With the help of AAA Moving and Storage they’re packing up all 55,000 books and loading them onto carts in a systematic order.
“It’s a lot of stuff to move,” said director KJ Martin-Albright.
The new, $15 million building is still under construction. It’s paid for, in part, by a “forward-funded” bond voters passed which raised the sales tax by one penny.
“The voters had to agree to tax themselves, and the nice thing about forward funding is people now, who want this built, paid for it,” said Wasilla Mayor Bert Cottle. “So we’re not indebting our kids and grandkids for the next 20 to 30 years.”
It will be three times the size of the old library, with more than 90 parking spaces compared to the current 14.
Martin-Albright said it will also have meeting and study rooms, an amphitheater and 40 public use computers to handle the Mat-Su Valley’s growing population.
“We have over 80,000 visitors a year and with that we had seven public computers and we had to limit everyone to one hour a day, even on our Wi-Fi,” she said.
The book collection will almost double in size to 93,000.
Martin-Albright credits the Friends of the Wasilla Public Library group for getting the project funded through the bond.
“I thought it was the most amazing thing ever. It’s not often you find people willing to tax themselves for something that they see is needed in the community. And they did,” she said.
The new library will open on Sept. 23. In the meantime, people can still return their books and use online service.
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