Anchorage voters said no, the state legislature said yes: the state will be contributing additional funds for the Loussac Library, after a failed ballot measure.
The legislature was already going to appropriate around $8.5 million to the library, but after the municipal elections, they changed that to $10 million after Anchorage voters failed Proposition 3 by just 14 votes.
That proposition would have provided funding not only for the library, but for various parks and recreation projects around town. Library officials say the proposition’s failure may have been due to the other projects that were included.
The latest round of funding brings the total amount the legislature has given the library for the project to $14 million. Library officials say they have an additional $2 million from other sources.
The project is set to overhaul the library’s entrance, and many visitors to the site say you don’t have to look hard to see why improvements are needed.
“All you have to do is walk around this building and see the crumbling area of the steps, see the old furnishing,” said Library Director Mary Jo Torgeson. “It’s not even the old furnishings, but the antiquated design of the building.”
“Certainly libraries are important in the lives of Alaskans,” said Rep. Mia Costello (R-Jewel Lake). “We heard from people across the state how important this library is. It’s not just for Anchorage, it’s for the whole state and young people across the state.”
The library says the project is currently in the planning stages and will revitalize the library to better fit the needs of the community.