Speak Up About the New Brookhaven Library

Plans are back on track for a new Brookhaven Library. You can learn about it and give input at a public meeting at 7 p.m. on July 18.

After stalling for several years, plans to build a new Brookhaven Library branch are back on track. 

Have some ideas about the project? Maybe you have strong opinions about where the new library should be located. Or you want to make suggestions for a children’s rom. Now is your chance to say so. 

There will be a public input session at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 18 at the current branch at 1242 North Druid Hills Road. 

“I don’t doubt there’s going to be a lot of folks there,” said Alison Weissinger, director of the Dekalb County Public Library

She said Brookhaven residents have been vocal about the project, and there are differing opinions on where the new library should be built, from the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA station to Dresden Drive. Ultimately, it will be up to the library board to decide. 

“We’re hoping to make a decision on the actual location fairly soon,” Weissinger said.

Ronnie Mayer, a Brookhaven resident, said he wants to see the new library built at , which is also referred to as “the dog park.” 

“You have such a beautiful place,” Mayer said of the park. “How nice would it be to bring your children to the library when you have the park right there?” 

The library project has been his passion for 10 years, Mayer said. He envisions building a basement with meeting rooms that could be used for arts activities and neighborhood meetings. And he thinks opening a coffee shop such as Starbucks on site could help pay for the project. 

“You bring your child or grandchildren, you have a cup of Coca-Cola and read a book. The whole thing is a one-stop shop,” Mayer said. 

The new library will be twice as large as the current one and will cost about $3.7 million, which will be funded through bonds – something voters approved in 2005, Weissinger said. At the time, there was talk of redeveloping the Brookhaven MARTA station, and the library was eager to be a part of that. But several years later when nothing materialized, library officials gave up and decided to move forward with the new branch in a different location, Weissinger said.

It’s time for a new library because the current one on North Druid Hills Road is outdated, Weissinger said. Built before the age of computers, even a previous renovation has not made it easy to wire for computer access. “It’s very dated, it’s not very efficient,” Weissinger said. 

After updating the public on the project and getting their feedback, the next step is to take bids from architectural and design firms, she said. 

Want to learn about plans for the new library or share your ideas? There will be a public input session at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 18 at the Brookhaven Library branch, 1242 North Druid Hills Road.

Terrell Carstens July 17, 2012 at 04:48 PM
What kind of participation and usage is already occuring at the library on No. Druid and the one on Clairmont? What would happen to these facilities if a new one is built? More empty commercial space? What will new and bigger accomplish? Sounds a bit priviledged and selfish to me. Does the 3.7 Million that was voted on way back in 2005 have to go towards a new library? Is that the only allocation allowed? It appears as if we have 2 huge apartment complexes coming into the area. Think about the traffic and other concerns that this will create and need to be addresses and funded. Different times, different economy, different needs. I'm just sayin.
Eddie E. July 17, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Great, move the library on the other side of Peachtree and make it impossible for kids to access without vehicle assistance. Interfere with the operations of the Occupational Center. And for what? I certainly hope nobody in authority entertains this idea for a moment.
justinno July 17, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Invest in a park/library combo on Dresden Dr. Library doesn't need to be huge in the digital age and unfortunately, Brookhaven Park is an island cut off by Peachtree from neighborhoods. Demo the tax building and grab the adjacent land -- stick it all there.
Eddie E. July 17, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Now that makes sense! But I think the 'developer community' has other ideas.
Jabberwalky July 18, 2012 at 05:11 PM
We homeschool and we rely heavily on the library for materials. We've been waiting a long time for a new library and hope it will be located at the "Dog Park" because we take our dog there at least 3 times a week and could combine the trips! I also hope there will be space for a children's computer area, similar to the amazing library up in Cartersville. Maybe if we get to be the City of Brookhaven, some of the $$ we pay in taxes will stay in our area for a change!


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