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Davis library system plans expansion to Central Branch

But construction closures in Layton should be minimal

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LAYTON — The Davis library system is making plans for an approximate 4,000-square-foot addition to the Central Branch Library, 155 N. Wasatch Drive.

According to Pete Giacoma, Davis library director, the design plans are now under way and bids on the project should be taken this fall, with completion expected in fall 2002.

The current library, the county's second most-used library behind Bountiful's South Davis branch, currently has about 11,000 square feet of public space, and the expansion will increase that by about one-third.

Giacoma said the most likely area to be expanded by the additional space will be the children's reading area. It will be moved to the new wing, to be built south of the existing library in current parking lot space. With that move, the adult book space will then probably be expanded to include the old children's area.

"We can increase collection space by one-third, add more computers and possibly a quiet study space," he said.

The Layton library had almost 400,000 items checked out last year.

Giacoma said the first part of the construction process will begin this fall, when the parking lot will be expanded southward. Layton City owns the library's land and surrounding area and will allow the library to add a new 30- to 40-space parking lot to the south. The new addition will take away about 15 spaces, but overall the new parking lot should have 70-75 spaces, vs. the current 50 spaces.

Funding for the project will come from the recent increase in property taxes for the library system. However, Giacoma said he couldn't provide a cost estimate for the project until the design plans are finished. The South Branch children's reading room was expanded last year at a cost of $340,000 in the Davis County Library System's first major project in more than a decade.

"We're very fortunate to have the funding," he said, in reference to the Weber County Library System's failure earlier this month to secure public support for future expansion.

Thanks to the parking lot expansion, library use during construction should remain high, but there will be some inconveniences and the library's auditorium will probably have to be closed. However, the library itself should remain open, except for a few one-day closures.

Although the Central Branch expansion is modest considering the growth in north Davis County, Giacoma said Syracuse should receive its own branch library by October 2003, and that will take pressure off the branch in Layton. Centerville is also slated to receive its own branch library during 2005.

Opened in 1988, the Layton library initially had just 30,000 items. Today it has 106,000 items available for checkout.

E-MAIL: lynn@desnews.com