Expansion of Westside Branch
New Braunfels is one of the fastest growing cities in America. Over one-half of the New Braunfels population are active library users. With the growth that our town is experiencing, it is essential that the library expands along with it. The Foundation funded a master plan study to gain an understanding of how the library could meet future population increases. The 600-square-foot Westside Branch definitely needed expansion.
The Foundation conducted a study for rehabbing the old First Presbyterian Church adjacent to the Westside Community Center and the small library branch inside. When it was determined that the building was not usable, the city was notified and the push for a new building on that property began.
2019 BOND ELECTION
All hands on deck! That was the Foundation’s cry. Every effort was made to get construction of a new library on the 2019 Bond. Foundation Board Members attended and spoke at over 20 Bond Committee and City Council meetings, hoping to get the Westside and Southeast branches on the bond. After a bus tour by Bond Committee members, the Westside branch expansion rose to the top of the list. The Foundation members spoke at meetings and met with City Council members personally. Proposition 4, the construction of an 8,800 square foot branch at the Westside, made it to the final selection. The Foundation created mailings and media for the bond campaign. The Foundation board made over 3,000 phone calls to targeted voters, armed with a Prop 4 call script. The Herald-Zeitung wrote, “Bond allots $5.5 million for WCC library addition. First expansion of facilities to serve south New Braunfels residents.”
Proposition 4 passed and the proposed new branch became a reality.
Construction of the new Westside Branch broke ground on Thursday, March 11, 2021. Completion date was set for March of 2022. Due to COVID, shortages of materials, and lots of rain events, the completion date has been moved to Fall 2022. The Westside Branch will take library services from a 600-square-foot room inside the Westside Community Center to an 8,000-square-foot, full-service library neighboring the community center.
The Westside Branch will house a 25,000-item collection for adults, young adults, and children; four study rooms; a teen area; computer work spaces; and a drive-up service window.
Proposed Community Garden & Outdoor Programming Space
The Westside Branch has had tremendous success with their small community garden, teaching families not only how to grow food, but also how to prepare the food they grow into healthy meals. They have partnered with local nonprofits to create learning opportunities to plant, grow and maintain vegetable and pollinator areas, and have made memories and generational impact. The Foundation is committed to bringing a teaching garden, outreach programs, and an outdoor programming space to the new Westside Branch. We need your help to make this a possibility!