Billings New Public Library From Start To Finish
Most people here in Billings aren't very shy about not wanting to pay taxes... especially for things they feel are outdated or they'll get no use out of. Case in point... Billings New Public Library. The project may never have got off the ground had it not been for a generous $2 million donation from an anonymous benefactor. With pledges, fundraising by the Library Foundation and the anonymous donation nearly $7 million of the $20 million price tag was raised privately. Taxpayers approved a $16 bond to build it but will only be on the hook for $13 million.
Some critics might say "why do we need a library when we can get books online"? Well for one thing they help boost a city's "Quality of Life" index. That may not seem important BUT when companies think about where to locate new headquarters, distribution centers, operations etc. they look at that metric which is defined by public works such as parks, libraries, hospitals, bicycle trails, beautification etc. So you can see "Quality of Life" can have a direct impact on the economic future of a city. The anonymous benefactor also stipulated that the new library has to be "architecturally significant" and as a result it's very modern and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. It was designed by Phoenix architect Will Bruder who has won awards for libraries he's designed and had built in California and Arizona. For other economic benefits and to see the kind of return we'll see on our investment check out this study.
Below are pictures from the start of construction to the newly completed gem that is now open. Stop by the corner of North Broadway and Sixth Avenue North and check it out for yourself!