The future University Area Community Library will have two missions.
It will be a cutting-edge public library, providing access to digital resources, books, and meeting rooms. And when adjacent Muller Elementary Magnet School is in session, about one-third of the library will serve as the students’ media center. After classes and on weekends, the area used by students will be open to the public, essentially becoming the children’s section of the entire library.
The vision for the $9.2 million library, at 13619 22nd St., in Tampa, is to establish a place where children can learn, adults can continue their education, and the community can unite and prosper. “This is probably the most anticipated project we’ve had in the last decade,” said Andrew Breidenbaugh, director of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library system, noting the collaborative arrangement between the library system and Hillsborough County Public Schools.
Breidenbaugh and others addressed guests at a groundbreaking ceremony for the library on Dec. 16.
Construction of University Area Community Library will begin in January, and authorities expect it will open in late 2017. Upon completion, it will be the 27th library in the Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library system.
Muller is unique in that it’s the only public elementary school in Hillsborough County that has two magnet programs: performing arts and environmental studies.
Muller’s leaders want their students to learn the technical skills needed to thrive in whatever field they choose to pursue. That’s one reason the new library/media center is so eagerly anticipated. The facility will have a wealth of technical capabilities, and be “right here, on a daily basis” for Muller students, said Principal Mary Booth.
Photo Information: A rendering of the University Area Community Library.