Why is the library under construction, it was already big/nice enough wasn't it? In 2016, the Bulverde Area Rural Library District Board of Trustees commissioned a 10 year Master Facilities Plan to help guide them in decisions for the future of the Library District, since the population of Comal County has been predicted to more than double in that time period. The Trustees wanted to ensure we had the right facilities to serve the 200 square miles of the Library District (shown in green on the map below). The first stage of the Master Plan was to expand and renovate the current library facility to the maximum extent that this location can hold, since it is central to the community the District serves.
Children and teens will benefit most from the project. The additional will include a 4500 square foot dedicated Children and Teen area with their own programming rooms and a lovely patio. Other community members, especially non-profits who utilize the meeting spaces, will benefit from the 3000 square foot conference area and several smaller meeting/training spaces. Students and community members seeking quiet places to study will enjoy the six smaller study rooms being created in the renovation.
Who is paying for this? The taxpayers? How is the library funded? In January 2000, a special election established the Bulverde Area Rural Library District in the western portion of Comal County, funded by a ½ % sales tax, per Texas Local Government Code 326, which established Library Districts. The Library District does not receive any property taxes and only benefits if you shop in the western portion of Comal County.
The Library District is governed by a five member elected Board of Trustees. The Trustees entered into an Interlocal Agreement for debt bonds from Comal County in the amount of $7,000,000 to help pay for the expansion/renovation of the library.
Our staff, Friends of the Library (FOL), and the Foundation of the Library are running a Capital Campaign to help raise $750,000 to furnish the library after the expansion/renovation. They also write grants to support the library beyond our normal operating budget and for the Capital Campaign. In addition, both support organizations regularly hold fundraisers and the FOL sells donated materials in their Book Nook to raise funds.
Why did you tear out the beautiful Butterfly Garden? The Butterflies are being migrated to a larger space closer to the building that our community can enjoy for years to come. The Friends of the Library many years ago had a vision to create a learning garden at our library, to show community members how they could grow native and drought tolerant plants that butterflies and other wildlife could enjoy and thrive on. They worked hard with the Master Gardeners to create the Butterfly Garden.
The Master Naturalists took on the responsibility for the wildscape that leads to the lower parking lot. When the planning was being done for the expansion/renovation, the Trustees worked with both groups as well as the Native Plant Society to design an area in the grounds that would continue to serve as a teaching model for our community. All groups plan to help with planting in the new space.
While migrating the Butterfly Garden was a hard decision, a road which encircles the library will help create a safer environment, allowing emergency vehicles to better serve the library if needed, and expanding the parking available for our community members.
When will the construction be done? We hope to complete the project by June 2019. O'Haver Contractors are doing a stupendous job on our project. It will be a very uncomfortable year but through the generosity of HEB, who claimed the naming opportunity for our Children's Patio in the Capital Campaign, we are able to provide programming at our Annex location, just down the hill from the library, between Texas Regional Bank and Napa Auto Parts.