Frequently Asked Questions
Where are these branches going to be built?
Both plots of land are owned by the Christian County Library. In the city of Clever, the library will be built just to the west of the Southern Bank on Highway 14. In the city of Sparta, the library will be built to the east of the Dollar General, also on Highway 14.Clever Community Branch physical address: 7428 West Veterans Blvd, Clever, MO, 65631Sparta Community Branch physical address: 161 Wilson Court, Sparta, MO, 65753
How long will it take to complete the new library branches?
Roughly, each branch will take about 10-12 months to complete. The Clever Community Branch begins construction in April 2020 and Sparta Community Branch construction begins in May 2020.
What are the building specifications?
The two branches share the same layout and design and are approximately 5,100 square feet each. The layout includes space for book shelving, computer terminals, community room for library programs and community use, a study room for small groups, teen area, children’s area, circulation desk, quiet reading space, and a drive-through pick-up window.
Are you closing any other library locations?
The existing library branches will not close during or after construction. However, a couple of our community book drop and pick-up locations will change.
The community book drop and pick-up at the Town and County grocery store in Sparta will be closed and moved to the new Sparta Community Branch location. In the city of Clever, the existing store-front library location will close, including the book drop in the back of the building, and moved into the new Clever Community Branch location.
The community partner pick-up location at the Double EE Burger Shop in Highlandville and at the Billings City Library will remain open as well as the book drops locations at the Nixa X Center and the OC.
How are you going to pay for this?
Back in August 2017, community members of Christian County voted to approve the library’s tax levy renewal rate of $0.20 per $100 valuation of personal property. Based on revenue generated from that increase, the library was able to purchase small general obligation bonds used for the Ozark Community Branch renovation and the construction of the Nixa Community Branch in 2018 as the first phase of new construction efforts.
As the county and district have grown, the Christian County Library Board of Trustees and Administrative Staff partnered with a professional financial advisor to best invest and manage the library’s funds. From sound financial planning and counsel, the library was in the position to fulfill its campaign process of building two new community branch locations much sooner than anticipated.
Adding both the Clever and Sparta Community Branch locations is possible by again purchasing additional general obligation bonds in the amount of $4.1 million. The required funds needed to purchase and pay off these bonds are factored into the library’s annual operating budget.
How much is this going to cost?
After a competitive bidding process with local contractors, the construction of both branches and the addition of library materials (books, DVDs, computers, furniture, library supplies) is estimated to be $4.1 million dollars. Luckily, it was more economical to build both branches simultaneously instead of spreading the construction out over several years.
Why has this taken so long, the tax levy was passed in 2017?
We know it seems like a long time, but actually this process takes a while. Before starting any facility improvements the library focused on the best ways to direct funds efficiently and effectively. Great pride is taken by the library to be a good steward of the community’s money.
With that being said, the renovated Ozark Community Branch and the construction of the new Nixa Community Branch were completed within one year and three days after the tax levy renewal election. Next, we started the planning process on the Clever and Sparta locations. In July 2019, based on advice from our financial planner, the library district was in good financial shape to procure funds for construction.
It was at this point we began work with our contracted architect firm, Sapp Design Architects in Springfield, to design the branches. Planning and design took about four months since both branches have the same building layouts. Then it was time for the construction documents and design to be sent out for bids. Several construction companies bid for the opportunity to build our library branches but, the construction contract was awarded to Construction Services Group at the end of February 2020.
In short, it may seem like a long time but in a little over three and half years since the community voted to graciously approve the tax levy renewal, the library district has grown from one library branch to FOUR full-service libraries spread across the entire county. By adding these new locations now 95% of the population of Christian County is within 10 miles of a physical library branch!
I have a question that wasn’t answered in this FAQ, how can I ask my question or share my feedback?
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