By Linda Chion Kenney
As Riverview gets set to welcome its replacement library in late summer, Brandon is in the works to get a new library of its own.
“We’re currently looking for space for a replacement library for Brandon,” said David Wullschleger, operations manager for the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System. “People in Brandon love their libraries.”
The library, located at 619 Vonderburg Dr., is one of the strongest in the system for usage. Its popularity led to the 2005 opening of the Bloomingdale Regional Library at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. Its growth led to an expansion in 2014.
According to its lease agreement with county officials, the Center Place Fine Arts & Civic Association shares space with the Brandon Regional Library in the Sandy Rodriguez building, as long as the building is being used for library purposes.
“We don’t want to harm Center Place,” Wullschleger said, noting one idea is to move library system administrative offices into the current Brandon library once a replacement library opens. “That way Center Place could still operate as usual. We would have the office space we need and it would give Center Place more available parking.”
Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White said county officials aim to find a replacement library site by summer’s end, which is when the Riverview replacement library is set to open at 10003 Balm Riverview Rd.
As the search continues, White said, one site under consideration is the county-owned wooded parcel at the northwest corner of Lumsden Rd. and Parsons Ave. He noted that with the site in hand, it could take several years to design, permit and construct a library, but “we’re pushing to have it done sooner rather than later.”
Regardless of location, “We’re not going to leave Center Place out in the cold,” White said. “If they want to remain where they are, the county will do everything in its power to make that happen. Another option on the table would be for Center Place to be provided space in the new Brandon library, much like they’re provided space in the current Brandon library.”
The Brandon Regional Library is currently located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon and can be reached at 273-3652.