The Rocky Bluff Library in Ellenton will reopen in its new home on Nov. 15.
Long housed inside the cramped quarters of a strip mall off U.S. 301, the Rocky Bluff Library is moving into a newly renovated 10,000-square-foot building that was formerly home to the Roaring 20s pizzeria. An open house for the public is planned at the new building on Nov. 15 from 3 to 6 p.m.
The new building more than doubles the size of the current library, which serves more than 140,000 patrons each year. The new library will have room for meeting space, a children’s story time area, offices and a coffee bar. In addition it offers 170 parking spaces.
Much of the renovation work and improvements were made possible through grant funding.
Rocky Bluff Branch Manager Brenda Booth said the transition to the new location has gone smoothly thanks to help and enthusiasm from library patrons.
The community is really excited about the new building and the number of people who have offered their help with anything concerning the move has been phenomenal,” Booth said. “The present library was so crowded that we were unable to shelve all of the books at times. The number of computers available for the public will be more than doubled in the adult area.”
The property was offered for $3.9 million two years ago along with just over four acres off U.S. 301. Later the property went into foreclosure, and the Manatee County Commission approved County Administrator Ed Hunzeker’s recommendation to buy the building and nearly 10 acres for $700,000. It will be purchased over 20 years with the money the county was spending to lease the former location.
For more information on Manatee County Libraries, visit www.mymanatee.org/library.