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Rendering For New Gulf Gate Library Approved

A new $7.65 million library for Gulf Gate is expected to start construction January 2013 and open April 2014.

A rendering of the received the green light to proceed to a final design proposal by the county commissioners on Tuesday. 

The design was created with feedback during open-house meeting style formats for the public to comment on what the new library should feature and what the $7.65 million, two-story library should look like in their neighborhood.

The commissioners voted 5-0 to OK the 3-D renderings for Harvard Jolly Architects to produce a final design. 

The library would be about 28,800 square feet and be built on the center of the current site, according to Sarasota County Libraries Director Sarabeth Kalajian, and is anticipated to be open in April 2014. Gulf Gate's first library opened in 1973, doubled the size five years later and in 1983 the current Gulf Gate library opened on 71112 Curtis Ave., according to Kalajian. 

Here's what lead architect Harvard Jolly Architects have modeled and included (seen above): 

• Small cafe

• Friends of Gulf Gate Library Bookstore 

• Meeting room on first floor

• Children's area with story time area

• Courtyards

• Teen area

• Fiction and non-fiction areas

• Break-out rooms and study rooms

• Computer lab

• Copper and wood-like tones on the exterior

• Plenty of windows

• Open canopies

The library will also have to find a temporary location to operate on a smaller scale and reduced offerings during construction, Kalajian said. That site has not been identified yet, but the site should be in Gulf Gate, she said.

Commissioner Nora Patterson also encouraged the team to find ways to expedite the fast track project to have an opening sooner than April 2014.

A public meeting on Aug. 9 about Gulf Gate Library will discuss exterior fixtures and finishes. The meeting will be held at St. Andrew United Church of Christ, 6908 Beneva Road. 

Construction is slated to begin January 2013.

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