May 24 public meeting planned on Gulf Gate Library

An aerial map provided by Sarasota County Government shows the existing site plan for Gulf Gate Library.

Sarasota County Public Works will hold a public meeting on Thursday, May 24, about the design, permitting and construction of the new Gulf Gate Library, county officials have announced.

Residents may come to the open-house-style meeting at any time between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. at St. Andrew United Church of Christ, 6908 Beneva Road, Sarasota, according to a county news release.

First opened in 1973, the Gulf Gate Library moved to its current location at 7112 Curtiss Ave., Sarasota, in 1983. Design of a larger, two-story library began in January. County library and Public Works staff already have conducted two public meetings to gather ideas from Gulf Gate Library patrons about features they would like to see in the new facility.

Attendees at the May 24 meeting will be able to view preliminary floor and site plans and conceptual exterior and interior images, as well as ask questions about the designs and comment on them.

The final design of the library is expected to be ready in December, with construction beginning in early 2013, according to the county news release. The Sarasota County Commission earlier this year affirmed its decision to proceed with the project, so the new library could be completed in a timely fashion. With penny surtax (1-cent sales tax) revenue having ebbed as a result of the Great Recession, the commissioners in recent months have debated the timetables and funding mechanisms for a number of capital projects.

The County Commission this spring agreed to cover the estimated $7.5 million cost of the new Gulf Gate Library through the penny surtax revenue and library impact fees.

 For more information, visit or contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000.