Miami-Dade County Commissioners approved $12.1 million on Thursday to build a new Key Biscayne branch library, formally adding the project to the County’s capital plan.
The plan calls for demolishing the current structure, built in 1976, and constructing a new, two-story library on the site. An agreement with the Key Colony Homeowners’ Association paved the way for the project, which was shepherded by District 7 Commissioner Raquel Regalado. The condo group had filed a court motion to intervene over aesthetic and traffic concerns.
“I’m excited that we were able to partner with the village and find a design that everyone is comfortable with,” Regalado said. “It’s going to be a wonderful space.”
The measure, which also approved library projects in Little River, South Dade, and Miami Lakes, passed unanimously.
It was originally hoped that construction could start next year, but Library Director Ray Baker said that the next step is site plan approval by the Village of Key Biscayne, which he hoped could happen before the end of 2022. After approval, the county will proceed to drawings, contractor selection, and construction.
“We’re extremely happy that the County has funded the construction,” said Village Manager Steve Williamson, who said the design is getting closer to completion.
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.