Groundbreaking held for $9.5M South Huntsville Public Library
Published on February 25, 2020
The much-anticipated South Huntsville Library is now under construction on Bailey Cove Road. Mayor Tommy Battle, along with Huntsville-Madison County Public Library Executive Director Laurel Best, joined members of the community for a groundbreaking to celebrate the start of construction on the $9.5 million facility in the Sandra Moon Community Complex.
The new 30,750 square-foot library will replace the Bailey Cove Library Branch in Weatherly Plaza. This location opened in 1997 in what used to be an Ace Hardware store, but the building’s physical limitations did not allow the library to keep pace with the growing number of South Huntsville patrons.
The new facility is designed to meet the needs of a dynamic community with plenty of space for books, meetings and technology. It represents a collaborative effort between the City of Huntsville, contributing $5.6 million to the project, Madison County Commission giving $2.1 million, and the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library raising $1.8 million through private donations.
“The investments we are making in our neighborhood libraries are a direct reflection of our shared values for learning and connecting,” said Mayor Battle. “You see good things happening in a library. Adults and children from all different backgrounds reading books, asking questions, learning new skills and exploring worlds of imagination and information. I’m proud that we’re creating new spaces for this to happen.”
Plans for the new library were developed through a series of public meetings with residents to help identify the community’s goals and priorities for the new building.
“This new library will be one that reflects the ever-expanding role of the public library in the community and meets the demand for library services as our population grows,” said Laurel Best, Executive Director of the Huntsville Madison County Public Library. “The South Huntsville Library was designed with young families in mind and amenities such as the puppet theater, gaming center, coffee shop and Makerspace will bring hours of enjoyment and enrichment to our residents.”
An early champion of the new Library was District 5 Madison County Commissioner Phil Riddick. He pledged $2 million in 2013 to jump start funding for the project.
“This is a great day for all of South Huntsville and South Madison County,” said Riddick. “Our current library has been one of the most used in our system and has been simply over burdened and in need of modernization. Now we will have a library that will improve and enlarge services and the overall quality of life in the area. It will greatly enhance the user experience and will provide new features and services to attract others who may not have regularly used the library before.”
District 3 Council Member Jennie Robinson believes the library’s location, next to a performing arts center, recreation complex and community meeting space, will create something special for South Huntsville. “The Sandra Moon Complex, with the library at its center, really will be the heart of our South Huntsville community. It will help revitalize the whole Bailey Cove area,” said Robinson.
New amenities in the South Huntsville Library will include:
- An open/bookstore-style floor plan
- Large meeting room
- Private study rooms with the latest technology available in each space
- Space to exhibit art
- An indoor fireplace for cozy reading
- Makerspace Studio
- Friends of the Library bookstore
- Family bathroom facilities
- Separate children’s storytime room
- Children’s puppet theater
- Teen/Tween gaming center
- Separate teen space
- Outside vendor coffee shop
- Outdoor seating with WiFi access
- State-of-the-art technology
The library should take about one year to build and is expected to open in early 2021. Fuqua & Partners Architects designed the building and Pearce Construction is the contractor.