Leaders in Irondequoit have presented a plan to replace two outdated libraries in that town with a brand new one.
In Irondequoit, the library is a busy place.
"We have about a half million visitors a year between the two branches combined,” said Terry Buford, library director.
But many who use Irondequoit's two library branches say there's barely enough room.
"We need more space,” Buford said.
Ten years ago, Irondequoit began looking into building a new library. Focus groups were formed.
"The overriding thing was their pride in having a good library. Their relationship with the library,” Buford said.
Buford says space has limited what can be offered to the community; things like programs for kids and teens.
"Everybody should be able to come to the library, do what they want to do, participate in activities without annoying all the other people around them."
Irondequoit leaders think they've found a solution.
They're proposing a new, 60,000 square foot central library, to be build just east of the Irondequoit Town Hall, on land visible just out the window from where they made their announcement Tuesday. The new library would cost just over $12 million.
"We know we need to more and we need to stop planning and start doing something so we can not only meet state guidelines but exceed them, and meet the needs of our community," said Stephanie Squicciarini, library board president.
"I'm very impressed with the presentation and I'm thrilled to pieces,” said Diane Stark, Friends of Irondequoit Library.
Library supporters envision a place dedicated to kids and teens, plus quiet spaces to study, and larger rooms for community meetings and events.
“Space is a really, really big thing, and we cannot add on to these buildings. We have horrendous parking. There's just no room,” Stark said.
Town leaders say there will be plenty of opportunity for residents to learn more about plans for the new library. Several public hearings are expected to be held. And whether the library even happens is up to people who live here. A referendum will be scheduled for sometime in the spring.
"We will be extremely open, we will have as much information as we are able to garner and we will make sure it is the residents who will decide to build what we believe will be the best Irondequoit can offer its residents," said Mary Joyce D’Aurizio, town supervisor.
Library supporters know there are no guarantees. Money will need to be raised. They say it's a worthwhile project. They hope a majority of Irondequoit residents agree.
"Make up your own mind about whether this is a worthwhile project or not. That's all we can ask,” Buford said.