116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION -- The new, long-awaited Marion Public Library now has a “soft” opening date of on or before Nov. 15.
The Library Board of Trustees met in special session on Tuesday evening to discuss when the new building could open and settled on a date more than two years after the project’s groundbreaking in Oct. 2020.
Library Director Bill Carroll shared the news with the Marion City Council during its formal session Thursday night.
“The community has been without a full-service library since the August 2020 derecho. I applaud our team for their innovative approach to providing services and our patrons for their continued patience and understanding,” Carroll said.
The new library was supposed to open this month after being pushed back from its prior July opening goal. Carroll also said earlier this month that October was a goal for the opening date.
“Even with some aspects of the project yet to be completed, we are more equipped to serve the public in the new facility than we can from our temporary branch location,” Carroll added.
The exterior railings and sink shrouds were installed this month, items that were delayed because of supply chain issues and labor shortages, Carroll previously said.
Currently, library staff have temporary occupancy and have since May. Most of the 25-member staff is now working in the new library.
The Uptown storefront librar at 1064 Seventh Ave. continues to be open for browsing, pickup and computer use.
The project still is under its initial $18 million cost. The funding comes from a $3.3 million capital campaign, $5 million in local-option sales tax funding, $3 million in property damage insurance and the sale of the current site, $6 million in bonding and $1 million in tax increment financing.
The new library planning and construction has been a lengthy process, which started in 2016 when the original plan was to tear down the old building and simply replace it with a new one. Another plan to include it in the Marion Square Plaza redevelopment also was scratched.
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