Closed for more than a year already, the Land O’ Lakes Branch Library, at 2818 Collier Parkway, is inching toward the finish line of its massive renovation.
Pasco County Library Cooperative officials do not have a firm reopening date set, but hope to have one soon.
“There’s still some work to be done,” Bob Harrison, marketing program manager for the Pasco County Library Cooperative, told The Laker/Lutz News. “Plus, we’ll need time to move in the furniture, install the computers, transfer the book collection and more, to ensure the library is a vibrant, welcoming place for everyone.
“We know (people) are as anxious as we are to get back in there!”
When the 18,169-square-foot branch closed Aug. 14 for a $4.75-million renovation, completion was tentatively set for late 2022. And there is still time, as this branch has not been hit with supply chain issue delays, such as its sister branch — Dade City’s Hugh Embry Branch Library — has, according to Cooperative officials.
That branch, with its $2-million renovation, has no tentative completion or reopen date, either.
In early- to mid-2021, the Land O’ Lakes Branch was cleared of its contents and fenced off, with some of its books and services moving next door to the Land O’ Lakes Recreation Complex, at 3032 Collier Parkway.
The renovation includes a complete overhaul and remodel of the branch, including new furnishings, lighting, computer, printers and even faster broadband.
It’s the second time the branch has undergone construction, with the last being a two-year expansion project, which began in 2005.
“It’s a top-to-bottom remodel. Floor-to-ceiling,” Harrison told this publication in July 2021. “Everything is brand new. Literally, from the floor coverings to the wall, to the ceiling treatments.”
Funding for the library renovation is coming from proceeds of general obligation bonds that were approved through a referendum in 2018, with a 66% approval rating from voters, Harrison added.
The Land O’ Lakes Branch is one of three Pasco County libraries currently closed for remodeling: the aforementioned Hugh Embry, at 14215 Fourth St., in Dade City, and the South Holiday Branch Library, at 4649 Mile Stretch Drive, are the other two.
The Land O’ Lakes Branch began as a small section of a county building on U.S. 41, but was later moved to a larger location because of its increase in use. In 1980, it became an official part of the Pasco County Library Collective and moved into a Land O’ Lakes plaza storefront in 1988.
The branch at its current location was built through a $10-million bond referendum passed by Pasco County voters in 1986 to improve public library services and build new parks countywide.
The Land O’ Lakes Branch Library opened to the public on Dec. 12, 1991.
Published October 19, 2022