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Pinney Library rendering

An artist's rendering of the new $11.7 million Pinney Library, which will be part of the larger Royster Corners redevelopment on the east side.

Construction of the new east-side Pinney Library branch officially kicks off Wednesday with a groundbreaking ceremony in the Royster Corners development on Cottage Grove Road.

The new 20,000-square-foot branch will double the space of the current location at 204 Cottage Grove Road, the third-busiest branch in the Madison Public Library system that sees 300,000 visits annually. It will be housed in the larger mixed-use Royster Commons development at the intersection of Cottage Grove and Dempsey roads.

Madison Public Library director Gregory Mickells said the new branch will foster increased engagement with the community.

“Plus, the new library will include some unique, innovative features that we’re introducing in this new space to enhance your library experience,” Mickells said. “We can’t wait to share them with the community.”

Ruedebusch Development & Construction’s plans for the project include 16,000 square feet of commercial space, 86 apartments and 96 underground and 141 surface parking spaces. The new library space will add technology, a larger community room and study rooms in addition to dedicated spaces for children and teenagers.

The library will also have a PlayLab area, designed to promote early literacy activities for young children and their caregivers.

Last summer the city approved $820,000 in tax incremental financing for the private phase of Royster Corners and $3.1 million to purchase space for the new library.

“I am excited to see several years of planning, fundraising and negotiation come to realization,” Mayor Paul Soglin said. “The new Pinney Library is a great community asset that will benefit east side residents for decades to come.”

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The new branch is expected to open in 2019.

The project is estimated to cost $10.2 million with $1.5 million expected to come from the Madison Public Library Foundation. So far, the foundation has raised $1.1 million of its goal.

“We’re thrilled that so many individuals and businesses have stepped up to support the new Pinney Library, from attending fundraisers to providing challenge grants,” the foundation’s Executive Director Jenni Collins said. “We know they’ll find the space to be a welcoming community hub for the east side, much like our other libraries are for their respective neighborhoods.” 

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Abigail Becker joined The Capital Times in 2016, where she primarily covers city and county government. She previously worked for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and the Wisconsin State Journal.