When the razzle-dazzle of the notion of building another library on the west side of Winter Park quiets down, the City will face a stark reality: a large, very expensive building that few if any patrons will walk to — a Building, with a Parking Garage, in a Park.
How does it serve residents, most of whom live east of the library, to move it to the west side of the city? Many residents will not want to use a parking garage in an area so close to 17-92. The proposed location may make it more attractive as a place for wanderers to hang out, a problem some libraries have experienced and have been legally unable to remedy.
“Pave Paradise & Put Up a Parking Lot?”
The proposed site for the new library/parking garage would require that at least a portion of MLK Park be paved over. Valuable green space would disappear and park land would be permanently lost. The move would commercialize the library by putting it adjacent to a commercial development. The buffer quality of the park would be lost.
Current Location Central, More Walkable
The central location of the existing library is much closer to most residents than the westerly proposed re-location. The area is safely residential and an easy walk for many users. It’s also close to, but separated from, Park Avenue. It is near several pre-schools whose students use it. Parking is hardly ever an issue. It is generally easier to park there than to park at Publix during busy times.
Space for Children & Seniors? Got That
While those who advocate a new library talk about space needed for children and tutors, we already have several. The Community Center on New England has a children’s library with computers. This facility also offers activities for senior citizens and has a frequently-used commercial kitchen.
$30 Million’s Not the End of It
The existing library had a third story added some years ago; other needed changes can be made to accommodate patrons. Books are still the most important part of a library.
The bond referendum calls for up to $30 million to finance this unneeded construction. Millions more dollars would be required for interest and operating costs. Winter Parkers would pay tens of millions in taxes over twenty years.
Vote AGAINST the Bond Referendum on March 15.