ECTOR COUNTY, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- The Ector County Commissioners’ Court has given the green light to hiring an architect to design a new library.

The Ector County Library and its need for renovation has been the subject of public debate since early 2021 with the county debating whether it should repair the building in downtown Odessa that has been around since the 1960s or build an entirely new one. People in the community have long complained of the smell inside the current building as long as their desire to see the library get an upgrade. 

Over the last year, a library committee has been hard at work gathering input from the community on what they’d like to see in a new facility. For Odessa Arts Director Randy Ham, he said he would love to see new technology such as 3D printers, art exhibits, print and electronic material, and more. 

“The committee has been working very diligently over the last year to get public input, to talk to local stakeholders and assess the condition of the current building; and  (the) recommendation to the commissioners was that this building is outdated, and it is time for a new library. And so, at the last commissioners meeting this week, they allotted $250,000 for us to go out and find an architect…” Ham said.

Some questions remain, such as how much the new building cost and where will it be located?  That information will come once an architect is hired to oversee the project.

Ham said the prospect of a new library is exciting, but don’t expect to see the building anytime soon, the project could take about five years.