The St. Louis County Library announced Tuesday (Nov. 21) that it plans to build a new facility and relocate the Eureka Hills Branch there. The current Eureka Hills branch is at 156 Eureka Towne Center, and the new facility will be built at 500 Workman Road.
The library will spend $590,000 to purchase 3.5 acres at that location, and the money will come out of the library’s general operating fund, library spokeswoman Jennifer McBride said.
Plans call for the new Eureka Hills library branch to open in the summer of 2021. The library system plans to seek bids from architectural firms in 2019, with construction projected to begin in 2020, according to a press release.
McBride said the library has no estimated cost for the construction yet.
“We will have a better idea after the bidding process,” she said.
The new Eureka Hills branch will be 15,000 square feet, more than twice the size of the current 6,500-square-foot facility that used to be a Blockbuster video store. The library system leases that space. The current location will remain open during construction, the release said.
“We are thrilled to be building a brand new, state-of-the-art library for the residents of Eureka,” library director Kristen Sorth said in the statement. “This is a community that loves their library, and we look forward to bringing expanded library service to the area.”
The new library will feature an expanded collection of materials, a dynamic children’s area, private study rooms, space for programming, a quiet reading room, a community meeting room, a business center and a space for teenagers.
The new branch will be positioned near the 526-home Arbors of Rockwood development. It will also be positioned near the site of the new Eureka Elementary School, a proposed day care center and the newly constructed St. Francis’ Episcopal Church.
At the Nov. 21 Eureka Board of Aldermen meeting, the board unanimously voted in favor of the construction of Crouthers Academy, a day care facility on 555 Rockwood Arbor Drive (formerly Brewster Road), which is next door to the library site.
“Hopefully by 2021, we will have a new library that is by a new day care, the new church and new grade school,” Mayor Kevin Coffey said during the board the meeting. “It’s a great fit. We are quite proud of a new library coming to Eureka. We are proud to have them.”
The projected growth in the Eureka area led the library to determine the need for the new branch, the release said. Along with the Arbors, there is a planned 549-home Windswept Farms subdivision in Jefferson County next to the city.
“I think it is going to be a big benefit to have a branch in walking distance of the new development in the area,” McBride said. “It is a pretty perfect location.”
The Eureka project is not part of the Your Library Renewed campaign, which is in its second phase of renovating 19 of 20 branches, according to the release.