Christian County Library set to open two new branches

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- Last year the Ozark Christian County Library branch went through a renovation. However new branches will be built in Sparta and Clever.

In August 2019, The Library Board of Trustees approved how to spend tax dollars for the two new upcoming branches. The design plans were made, and the land was purchased back in 2009, putting branches in both the Eastern and Western part of the County. Both locations will have brand new buildings equipped with drive-throughs and more.

Deputy Director of the Christian County Library, Katy Pattison said the Sparta branch would be on Highway 14, next to Dollar General. However, the Clever branch will sit across from dollar general.

"We couldn't adequately serve the community without having physical locations that were closer to people," said Pattison. "This plan puts library branches within 10 miles of 95-percent of residents in Christian county."

Pattison said the 2017 tax levy made this all possible. Taxpayers rejected a request in 2009, but 68-percent approved the new one. It will mean residents will pay the same amount as it was in 1972 when the Ozark library opened.

"It's 20-cents per hundred dollars in assessed value, and that works out to be the cost of a hardcover book for the average family," explained Pattison.

Pattison said she wants everyone to take advantage of what they're paying. She said that the Christian County Libraries offer a wide range of programs, events, and even fishing rods. The libraries are crafted with the community in mind, and that's why the expansion and funding is essential.

"Since everybody in the county is paying we want everyone to have the benefit of being able to access library services; in a way that is convenient to them and in a way they can come together in their community in their library branch," explained Pattison.

The final design phase will wrap up soon. Next, the project will be put out for bid in January. It's estimated that the development will take 10-12 months. Depending what is most cost-effective, both could be up by summer 2021. If the branches are built sequentially, then they both would be up by spring 2022.

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