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Seminole Heights Library Pulverized; New Building Opens in 2013

The library was demolished on Tuesday morning.

It was dedicated on April 25, 1965.

But in recent years, the needs of patrons at the 8,000-sq. foot Seminole Heights Branch Library on Central Avenue grew larger than its walls.

On Tuesday morning, those walls came tumbling down.

To make room for a two-story, 22,000 sq. foot facility slated to open in late 2013, a construction crew demolished the library at 4711 Central Avenue. A handful of people stood nearby while an excavator tore through the building's core.

Seminole Heights Library Head Carrie Hurst, who now works at the Riverview branch, was among the group.

"It's bittersweet," she said. "It's sad to see it go. But I know it had to go so we can grow."

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The library closed on Oct. 31, leaving residents to patronize other local libraries such as the C. Blythe Andrews Library at 2607 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and the North Tampa Library at 8916 North Boulevard.

The renovation project was spearheaded by Hillsborough county officials, who bought a half-acre of property behind the old library to expand the site's space. Construction is funded through the Capital Improvement Program at about $3.8 million.

The new library will include small meeting and study rooms, a computer lab, a teen room and additional parking, according to county officials.

The expansion was a move county officials say was much needed.

"The community needs," said county spokeswoman Jennifer Hall, "have outgrown this facility's capacity to serve."

What library will you go to while the Seminole Heights Library is being built? Tell us in the comments.

Toni Rexford Walker November 21, 2012 at 02:11 PM
One of my earliest memories is of my father carrying stacks of books out of the library every week for me to devour. It was 1965 and that library was THE place for me as a five-year-old!!! My brother and I saw silent movies and old horror movies there (not very horrible though), in our pajamas, on their Pajama Party nights. And when I became curious about the "birds and the bees" it was where I went to discover what the fuss was about. The books were tasteful and it was like sitting with an old friend. The library WAS an old friend, and when my daughter became old enough, it was where I introduced her to HER lifelong love of reading. I am glad they are updating it, but I am truly sorry to see the old one go.
Camille C. Spencer November 21, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Glad you have good memories of the old building. Thanks for commenting, Toni!
Jennifer Logan-Porter November 25, 2012 at 03:52 PM
A rather funny memory was when I walked from my home to return some books on Veteran's Day, to find the library was closed. My husband, at the time, worked for the county had the day off. That should have been my first clue- duh! ;)
Angela Mann November 25, 2012 at 04:01 PM
So sad, but I'm glad they will get to expand. It will be nice to have a bigger library to use and I'm sure all of the neighborhood kids who hang out there will appreciate it. Wish the design were a little more in keeping with the neighborhood... this is a little New Tampaish I think

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