Makeover in the Future for Dothan's Library and Museum?

By: Deborah Tuff Email
By: Deborah Tuff Email

Area organizations that'll reap the benefits of Dothan’s recent sales tax hike are already excited about the possibilities. Two non-profits are ready to get the ball rolling.

At the Houston-Love Memorial Library, library board members for the 67-year-old building say you may not feel too “welcomed”, when entering.

You might think the library's carpet is plush, but those with the library say it’s just plain gross. And, even though the periodicals and newspapers stay updated, everything else in the library, well, isn't.

"The library hasn't changed since I moved here in 1977. It is exactly the way I always remembered it," says Vince Edge with the Wiregrass Foundation; a foundation contributing millions toward the construction phase of the new library.

Initial plans by the city would allocate a $10-million dollar bond to go towards the library at a payback of $600,000 dollars a year.

The funding would be provided from the one-cent sales tax increase. But now, the library board has requested $60,000 dollars from the city to go towards a conceptual plan for building an entirely new library.

"What the board is proposing doing is to have a local architect work in conjunction with a library specialist as a consultant," says Library Board Director Betty Forgus.

"We're looking at library locations downtown and we might have discussions about moving it from downtown as well," says Dothan Mayor Pat Thomas.

Meanwhile, the Wiregrass Museum of Art also needs $60,000 dollars. That money would be used to unveil a master plan; a plan that would include renovating and expanding the museum’s building to make it all-purpose.

"Murals and the Opera House; our citizens felt strongly that the museum should connect itself to these other entities," says Susan Roberts, the executive director of the Wiregrass Museum of Art.

Both projects combined will cost an estimated $28-million dollars.

Funds for the library will be provided through the city of Dothan, the Wiregrass Foundation, and private donations.

The city commission will vote on whether they'll allocate the money in two weeks.


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