Tuesday, May 03, 2016

EDITORIAL >> Sherwood’s new library

The design of Sherwood’s new $5.8 million, 14,000-square-foot library was unveiled last week. Taggart Architects of North Little Rock has conceived a modern, nature-oriented facility that the community deserves.

It will be a big improvement from the cramped and outdated Amy Sanders branch near the municipal complex.

The new library, a branch of the Central Arkansas Library System, will be built on 14 acres on Johnson Drive near Sylvan Hills Middle School and Hwy. 107. Being so near the middle school will ensure plenty of youngsters will drop in.

It will be paid for with a 1.3-mill property tax increase voters approved in 2014. Building will start in August or September. So it should be open by the end of summer 2017.

Many people will likely visit the new library just to take a stroll on the sprawling nature trails, which will probably feature first-rate landscaping like the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library, another CALS branch.

The design somewhat resembles the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock.

The landscaping needs to include a pond stocked with fish to complement the library system’s fishing-pole lending program. Kids could wet a hook right outside as they do now at the small, but productive, pond near the municipal complex. That’s always fun for drivers to see while zooming down Kiehl Avenue.

The new library will have a wraparound walkway to let visitors view the grounds. It will also have an amphitheater with 200-300 capacity to host live music and other performances. It will be a perfect venue for an Arkansas Symphony Orchestra community concert, outdoor movies or the many top performers who have been performing at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock.

The new library will be a cultural events center as much as it will be a place to borrow books, DVDs, music and surf the web. It will make the community proud.

There’s also news that the legislature will restore $1 million cut previously from the state library budget. Spending more money on literacy is always a good investment.