Charlotte’s Morrison Regional Library will close starting July 30 for at least a year, for renovations that will include an expanded children’s center, new window seating, a silent reading room and an outdoor terrace.
The renovations, expected to be in place by fall 2017, are part of a renovation plan funded by Mecklenburg County.
“I think it’s going to be really nice,” said Morrison Regional Library Manager Susan Green. “We are looking forward to the finished building.”
The current facility at 7015 Morrison Blvd. has the highest attendance for children’s story time out of all the county libraries and hosts about 250,000 visits a year. According to Green, Morrison is the third largest library in the system with a total of about 15,000 active users.
But Green said the renovations, which have been approved since 2014, are timely.
In addition to an expansion of 2,603 square feet, the library will undergo electrical and mechanical renovations. It marks the first of four library renovations, the others being West Boulevard, North County and South County libraries.
“A woman commented that she hoped we could control the air conditioning from the inside,” Green said, noting that the AC controls are currently in a separate building. She said this is one of the mechanical upgrades that the library, which was built in 1991, is in need of.
Green emphasized that the money for the project – about $8 million – will come from Mecklenburg County, not from the library’s operating budget.
Expenses will be drawn from the county’s Pay-Go fund, which is money specifically allocated for county improvement or remodeling projects approved annually by the Board of County Commissioners. The project was budgeted for fiscal year 2015 in the county’s Five Year Capital Improvement Plan.
Green said she hopes this closure might give customers an opportunity to visit some of the other 19 libraries in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg system.
Books will still be available online through the county library website, and the facility’s books will be circulated throughout other Charlotte-Mecklenburg libraries.
Despite an upgraded facility, Green said that some customers have been upset about the library’s temporary closure, which will last anywhere from 12 to 18 months.
“We understand they’re upset because they love their library,” she said. “We just hope that when they come back and see the improvements, they’ll agree it’s worth that time.”
If you want to stay up to date with the renovation, provide your email to the Morrison Regional Library Staff at (704) 416-5400.