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Omaha City Council finds interim location for downtown library and agrees to fund new central library

Posted at 7:22 PM, Jul 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-26 20:22:54-04

OMAHA, Neb (KMTV)  — There has been a lot happening with the downtown library.

It was announced earlier this year that the library will move from W. Dale Clark to 1401 Jones Street.

But now problems with the new location mean the library will be moving to an interim location before 1401 Jones is even ready.

“Working with those that are rehabbing and developing 1401 Jones, it became clear that there was some issues with the structural part of the building,” said Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert.

City officials say concerns were raised with the structural integrity of 1401 Jones and its ability to handle all of the books that will come with the library.

The renovations are being handled and paid for by the building owner and the library will be moved to 1410 Howard in the interim while renovations are completed but Mayor Jean Stothert says those plans aren’t set in stone.

“We are still open to looking at additional sites if that doesn’t please everybody. Well it won’t please everybody but if that site isn’t what they are looking for,” said Stothert.

The city is also finalizing its plans for a brand new library that is set to be built at 72nd and Dodge Streets.

Omaha is being asked to cover $20 million of the library's $150 million dollar price tag.

There was some disagreement at last week’s city council meeting about the necessity of a new library and whether the 72nd and Dodge location would be a good site but at this week’s meeting the city council gave its unanimous approval to fund the new central library.

City officials say they hope to open the interim library at 1410 Howard street by September 1 and hope to have the new permanent location at 1401 Jones completed by March 2023.

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