Omaha City Council Approves $20 Million for New Library Location
By Will Bauer , Reporter/Producer Nebraska Public Media
July 26, 2022, 4 p.m. ·
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The Omaha City Council unanimously committed $20 million at Tuesday’s meeting to the construction of a new central library location.
The new location at 72nd and Dodge streets will carry a total price tag between $140 and $150 – most of which will be paid for by a local nonprofit, Heritage Omaha.
Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert praised the $20 million commitment at last week’s council meeting that included public comment.
"Adding a learning destination to a commercial, residential and entertainment revival underway at 72nd and Dodge will create an even greater potential for the true crossroads of our city," she said.
Mayor Stothert also unveiled her proposed budget for the next fiscal year, which includes a 10% budget increase for city libraries. The increase to an operating budget of $19.3 million will include new positions, wage increases for part-time employees and materials for new library locations, according to the city.
The new library construction was prompted by the old downtown library being scheduled for demolition to pave the way for a new Mutual of Omaha tower – a decision that upset some in the community.
The new central library will open in 2025. The old downtown library – the W. Dale Clark Library – will close at the end of August and is set to be demolished in October.
The City of Omaha announced last week it would open a 6-month location at 1410 Howard from September to March, while a more permanent location in downtown is refurbished at 1401 Jones.