Tuesday, December 02, 2014

EDITORIAL >> Possible sites for a library

Sherwood voters on Election Day passed a special property tax to build a $6 million library. It will be a first-rate addition for the growing community that will help attract families to the area and serve readers of all ages.

The aging and overcrowded Amy Sanders Library does not have room to expand and is perhaps the weakest facility, though not in its offerings, in the Central Arkansas Library System. It was built in 1989. We hope the new one will last longer than 25 years.

In 2009, Jacksonville opened its new library, also a CALS branch, and residents there are still proud of it. It also helped initiate the revitalization of downtown.

The next step for Sherwood’s library project is to select a committee that will hold public hearings on its design, location and more.

We have a few places in mind. The old Harvest Foods across from the city’s golf course on JFK Boulevard is an eyesore that gives the wrong impression about the city to visitors. The building has been vacant for at least a decade, and it’s said that a grocery store bought the building to prevent competitors from opening there. It offers lots of parking and plenty of raw space to be creative with.

Cabot is now converting the old Knight’s Super Foods into a new library for $2.6 million. Many visitors won’t know the place was ever a grocery store.

Another possible location for Sherwood’s new library would be along Hwy. 107 in Gravel Ridge, where a building boom is guaranteed even if the I-440 North Belt never gives drivers easier access to the area. A library there would show the community, which was annexed in 2007, that it is part of the city’s long-term plans.

The Indian Head Shopping Center, near Hwy. 67/167, might also benefit from a major project like a new library.

Every community needs a great library. Ray Bradbury once said, “Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.”

Here’s to Sherwood’s endeavor and future.