San Marcos Bond Ballot Includes Overhauling Popular Library

SAN MARCOS, Texas -- Earlier this week, for the first time in a decade the San Marcos City Council is asking voters to consider a tax increase, now there is another bond proposal on the May ballot that hopes to help an active community institution keep up with the speed of growth.

It is not always quiet in The San Marcos Public Library, but noise is welcomed inside the popular institution on East Hopkins Street, which has come to feel like a community center over the past 20 years. 

“It seems like every time I come here I see somebody I know. Then you meet new people especially coming every week," said Lindsey Martinez, a library patron.

“Story Time” is just one of dozens of popular programs offered for patrons of all ages, this as library visits soar.

“You can really see that there’s need for more space and I know they have more ideas for more programs to come,” said another customer, Cynthia Perez.

Originally built for a collection of 150,000 items, the library currently holds thousands more. Bins and spinners hold the overflow.

“We count on our customers having 21,000 items checked out at any time. If everybody were to bring back their items that they have at home, we do not have space for that," said Diane Isley, the library director.

An almost $15 million bond proposal would more than double the library’s footprint, adding 29,000 square feet inside and more parking outside.

“This whole [Interstate] 35 corridor is just really exploding, we’re having a lot of new homes being built. And with that, you know, we need to provide," said Heather Hurlbert, the finance director of the City of San Marcos.

The proposal will:

• Create additional meeting rooms, classrooms and enclose the children’s room

• Renovate the existing 27,000 square feet of the facility, which was built in 1992, and replace the original carpet and furniture

• Provide a drive-through book drop

• Expand the library's parking lot

“In the bond election in the 90s, they did support us. We did tell them what we were going to do and we have used that money wisely,” Insley said. “So, I think they can trust us to make a frugal decision for the community.”

If both the public safety and library propositions pass May 6, the average homeowner would pay an extra $125 a year in taxes, starting in 2018. For more information visit www.sanmarcostx.gov/bondelection .

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