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$34 million library set to open

The Windmill Library — the newest Las Vegas-Clark County Library District facility — opens next month, nearly two years after a ceremonial groundbreaking at the 15-acre site at Rainbow Boulevard and Windmill Lane.

The $34 million project includes a more than 28,000-square-foot library with an additional 11,000-plus square feet of “shell space” for future growth.

The adjacent service center, which will house the library district’s administrative offices and ancillary services, encompasses more than 88,000 square feet.

In the planning stages since the middle of the past decade — before the economy went south — the library and service center were paid for through medium term bonds issued in March of 2009.

“The planning started about five years ago,” said Jeanne Goodrich, the district’s executive director. Goodrich said the economy has had an adverse impact on the county’s library system, as it has on virtually all government entities, but she said the district was contractually obligated to finish the project.

She also pointed out that revenue generated through bonds can only be used on capital projects, not shifted to operations.

“The alternative would be to have an empty building,” Goodrich said. “And I don’t think anyone wants that.”

The district has eliminated nearly 100 positions, and its estimated $65 million in revenue now is roughly 12 percent less than in 2009-2010. Full-time staffers reassigned from one of the district’s 24 other libraries will operate the new facility, Goodrich said.

The library includes a nearly 8,000 square feet, 300-seat auditorium, state-of-the-art technology, including wireless Internet access, computer labs for adults and youth, a “young people’s library” a vending area, a bookstore and meeting space.

“This is a very efficient building,” Goodrich said. “People will feel comfortable here. It’s very welcoming.”

It’s also well stocked.

Goodrich said workers over the next few days will place about 130,000 books, movies and other items in the facility in anticipation of a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. on May 7.

“People will be impressed,” Goodrich said. “From the smallest child to the oldest adult, we’ve got something for everyone.”

Contact Doug McMurdo at dmcmurdo@reviewjournal.
com or 702-224-5512.

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