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Architect approved to start planning for new Ector County Library

"We're not going to be done in the next year, but this is the farthest we've ever come in getting a new library."

ECTOR COUNTY, Texas — If you walk through the aisles of the Ector County Library, you might notice an update is overdue.

"The current facility has not changed since 1980, it's in a building that was not purpose built as a library, this will probably be the first purpose built library in history," said Randy Ham with the Ector County Library Advisory Committee. 

On Thursday, the Ector County Commissioners approved an architect group to get the planning for a new library started.

"Today was about hiring that architect to help us with site selection, to help us with a construction estimate, how much is this new building going to cost and of course what is it going to look like; is it two story, is it five story, is it one story?" said Ham.

Right now the county is expected to use $250,000 of American Rescue Plan Act Funds for the new library but the rest is still not set in stone.

"From the very start the commissioners charged us with making this a public private partnership, so of course the county will invest some funds but they won't invest all the funds and we'll need to go out there to the businesses, to the individuals, to the foundations to help us fund this building that is for the public," said Ham.

The committee is confident a page will be turned and a new library will be funded and open in Ector County. 

"We're not going to be done in the next year, but this is the farthest we've ever come in getting a new library," said Hamm. "A library is one of the only places left that you can come into that building without the expectation of having to spend money for services. It is accessible to every single person in Ector County, it is a great equalizer, it serves everyone and it's something we need desperately."

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