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July 11, 2014

Library tops city’s list of desired amenity

(Continued)

NORMAN —

“I believe that Norman is ready to tackle some of the important quality-of-life projects which our citizens desire, and though I have not been involved in developing this particular proposal, I appreciate the steps taken by the Norman Forward leaders,” Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said.

 

Learning from past mistakes: Rosenthal said the list of desirable quality-of-life projects is long and goes beyond those identified by Norman Forward.  

“Fortunately, many of the projects being proposed by Norman Forward come from previous city planning efforts or, for example, the parks master plan and the greenways master plan, so we have a good sense of the community’s priorities,” Rosenthal said. “We are also currently updating the library master plan to meet the needs of a growing community and changing technology.”

The city contracted Jeffrey Scherer of MSR Design to update the library plans.  A library proposal in 2008 did not garner enough support to move forward, despite that early indications had showed a strong community base of support for the proposal. At that time, no specific land had been identified or secured as a site for the new library.

“We have been working since 2008 to address the concerns we heard when the plan for a new library narrowly failed,” Pioneer Library System Executive Director Anne Masters said. “We believe the new plan with identified sites and services in east and west Norman, as well as downtown Norman will be embraced by the community.”

Since 2008, the city has obtained land at the site of the former Rhodes granary at Acres Street and James Garner Avenue across from Andrews Park for the new main library. That location is adjacent to Legacy Trail, connecting the site to Campus Corner and eventually all of the way west to Legacy Park and beyond, allowing walkers and cyclists safe passage to the central location.

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