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A brand new chapter: North Fort Myers Library reopens

August 9, 2019
By CHUCK BALLARO (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Five years ago, North Fort Myers Civic Association President Greg Makepeace and Linda Yorde met with the county manager and new County Commissioner Brian Hamman about the need for a new library to replace the old cramped facility they had.

On Monday, that dream came true as county dignitaries, civic leaders and hundreds of people crammed the lobby to celebrate the new North Fort Myers Public Library at 2001 N. Tamiami Trail.

All four county commissioners were present, as was Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, County Manager Roger Desjarlais and many others who praised the new facility they hope will be a game changer for North Fort Myers.

Article Photos

CHUCK BALLARO

The Old Florida Style ceiling at the new North Fort Myers Library.

Yorde was in awe of what got accomplished.

"This is amazing. I remember having a town hall meeting with Roger Desjarlais to talk about this. To see it come to fruition is a fantastic opportunity for the area."

Hamman was also impressed, saying it was better than the drawings.

"In person, it's an impressive facility. When I become commissioner, one of the first meetings I had as commissioner was with someone in the community saying we needed a new library," Hamman said. "To see what we accomplished was a long time coming and well worth the wait."

Commissioner Frank Mann, whose district is also includes North Fort Myers, told stories of the old North Fort Myers while ringing in the new.

"We've been through some rough times, but this is a symbol of the good times occurring right now and will continue," Mann said.

Mindi Simon, director of the Lee County Library System, said looking at the new library open for the first time was amazing.

"There's all this natural light, the beautiful ceiling, it's very spacious with plenty of seating," Simon said. "It's a real game changer. We listened to what the community wanted and we responded."

Once the ribbon was cut, there were guided tours of the new facility - a handful of county office reps in one of the meeting rooms, and most important, an open library for people to check out items, which many wasted no time in doing.

Current civic association president Doug Dailey called the new library a gem and thanked Makepeace for the work he did.

"This is something that has been long needed and we can build upon what's here now," Dailey said. "This is a modern facility that a lot of people are going to use. There's a lot to be offered here."

Jeronimo Thomason, 12, came with his mother, Allecia, and loved the idea of a section of his own in which to play games.

"It's pretty good. My favorite part is going to be to play games and read and do my homework online," Jeronimo said.

Allecia, a lifelong North resident, said the new library is exciting for the community.

"This is definitely a step forward for community development. It's amazing there's a new gathering place for everybody in all the corner of North Fort Myers," said Allecia, who will use the library to help home school her son.

The $13.5 million facility was built along with a new library in Bonita Springs, which will open later this month.

The new library is a far cry from the old one. It is triple the size, with more than 50 computers, a much larger selection of media, several meeting rooms and even special sections for teens and kids.

Hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday from noon to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and open online 24/7.

For more information, call 533-4320 or go to Leelibrary.net/online.

 
 
 

 

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