New Central Library has a new grand opening date

After numerous delays, crews in Downtown Austin are close to finishing a new, six-story central library.

AUSTIN - After years of construction and multiple delays in grand opening dates, the city has announced Monday its final grand opening date for the new Central Library.

The City of Austin announced Monday the Central Library, located at 710 Cesar Chavez Street, will open on Oct. 28 at 10 a.m. 

The new library is 200,000 square feet – double the size of the old Faulk central library – and is six stories high.

Amenities include a rooftop garden, performance hall, cafe and dozens of rooms for books and reading.

Library project manager John Gillum said the new library costs $125 million. He said most of the funding came from a 2006 bond election. 

As for safety concerns, some are worried about the homeless population in that area, which Gillum addressed.

"We believe anybody and everybody's entitled to use the library," said Gillum. "That's how we greet people. You walk in, you're our customer. If you do something – I don't care if you're wearing a three piece suit that I can't afford, or you're wearing rags, and you do something that is not allowed in the library, we will show you the door."

The new library replaces the old Faulk Central Library off Guadalupe. That building is set to close Sept. 16.

As the city starts moving books and other materials to the new library, library-goers will have limited access to the books in the collection at the Faulk Central Library from Aug. 14 through Sept. 15.

The entire third floor of the Faulk library and the nonfiction collection located on that floor will be unavailable until the central library opens.

People who go to the Faulk Central Library will be able to access the first and second floors, pick up holds, use public computers, use WiFi, access the book drop, request the interlibrary loans and access the reference desk. Any holds on library materials that were scheduled for pickup at the Faulk Central Library will be re-routed to the Carver Branch until the new Central Library opens.

Gillum said the old Faulk Central Library will likely be turned into archival and museum space.

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