By Tamas Mondovics

After a series of public meetings, Hillsborough County officials and members of the County’s Library Services, have finally selected the future site of a brand new Riverview Regional Library.

The selected site is located on Balm River Road on just south of Boyette Road, across from the Y’s Camp Cristina, just east of U.S. 301, near Riverview High School.

“After consideration of available locations and public input, traffic issues, environmental concerns and costs the majority favored the chosen location,” said library project manager Janet Marnatti, adding that many residents favored a little more than seven-acre site on Hackney Drive, just east of U.S. 301 and north of the Alafia River, nearly eight miles from the current library, but that site was sold.

According to county officials, the estimated total cost to build the new facility is $7 million and, for starters, will involve a 25,000 sq ft, one story building with plenty of parking.

Last year, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) allocated $3.4 million toward expanding or replacing the existing much the more than 35-year old 8,000 square feet library in Riverview, located at 10509 Riverview Drive.

“The replacement of the old facility is definitely bitter sweet,” said Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White, and added that the Riverview library is a huge part of the community’s history on Riverview Drive, which has always been an important thoroughfare for the town of Riverview.

“Time, however, has taken its toll on the building and parking is inadequate,” White said. “Riverview deserves better than that, which is why I am happy to see a new library being built on a site just up the road in an area that also captures the ambiance the Riverview that we all know and love.”

White said that he has been working closely with county staff, community stakeholders, and library services stakeholders to advocate for an architectural style that also honors the town’s heritage.  “This new library is going to be a real gem, and point of pride, for Riverview,” White said. “I am pleased to be the one bringing this project in for a landing.”

Construction of the new library is currently expected to begin sometime in early spring of 2017 with completion in late 2018 or early 2019. 

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