FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — A nearly $50 million project will give Northwest Arkansans the opportunity to take cooking lessons, dance lessons, learn how to fly, and much more.
The Fayetteville Public Library Expansion Project, which is connecting the main library to the new building, is moving right along.
Construction to double the size of the library started in March 2019, and now its 90% complete with all structural work.
It will include a dance studio, recording studio, robotics lab, children’s library, genealogy space, and 700-seat multi purpose auditorium.
A teaching kitchen will be offered for students through Brightwater, a local culinary school.
That food will be sold in the cafe, and high school students will be able to earn a culinary arts degree here.
David Johnson, Executive Director of the library, says simulation labs will teach people of all ages new skills.
“We will have a flight simulator where people who own small planes or are wanting to learn some of the basics of piloting maybe dial in the type of plane they have and maybe fly to an airport….we’re also looking at workforce development — you will be able to learn a backhoe, or a forklift. We’re working to see if we can get a simulator for commercial drivers license,” he said.
There will be an courtyard and 100 additional parking spaces added.
In 2016, Fayetteville voters approved a millage increase that will cover the cost of about half of the project.
Fundraising to cover the remaining $23 million is still underway by private donors.
Johnson anticipates the building will be completely finished and opened by October, if the weather permits.