ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – For the last several years, the Ector County Library has faced plumbing issues from busted pipes and electrical issues causing the library to need major renovations.
The Ector County Commissioners Court stepped in to form a committee of stakeholders to improve the facility. In a meeting, last spring members of the committee came to the conclusion that it would take about $15 million dollars to renovate the entire building, and $26 million dollars to build an entirely new building.
Before making any major changes, the Ector County Library board is asking for the public’s opinion on what the next steps should be for improving the quality of the library.
Randy Ham the Executive Director of Odessa Arts expressed the importance of having a library in Downtown Odessa and how renovations can keep the facility up and running.
“A lot of the time the people making decisions about public libraries, may not have to use their services, they have internet at home, access to books, access to programming, access to all of the things that they need but the people that need the library are not in decision-making positions”
In a recent survey, Ham says that data showed that the people who live in the area would like to see the library in a new light, with more community programs and opportunities.
The Ector County Library Board and consulting group the Ivy Group are hosting 2 community forums in different languages for people to voice their opinions on what they think should change.
“We’re gonna ask you questions like what do you think the library’s role in the community is, what do you think of the current location, do you like it downtown or does it need to be somewhere else, do you want a book mobile do you not want a book mobile, should it be several branches i mean nothing is off the table at this point”
Tonight the forum will be held at the Ector County Library at 6:30 pm in English and co-hosted by Odessa Arts, another forum will be held on Tuesday at 6:30 pm in Spanish.