comscore Puna library nearing planning stage | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News

Puna library nearing planning stage

HILO >> The state is set to start the planning phase for a new public library for underserved residents in the rapidly growing Puna district of Hawaii island.

State lawmakers approved $800,000 for a feasibility study and initial phases of the project during the 2014 legislative session. Officials said negotiations with a Honolulu-based consultant, Group 70, which will conduct the study, are almost complete.

The new library will be an addition to the three libraries that serve Puna residents in Pahoa, Keaau and Mountain View, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.

“This will be a modern library,” said state Sen. Russell Ruderman (D, Pahoa), “with e-books, e-readers that can be lent out, meeting spaces. It’s really a learning center. We have a very fast-growing and very poor population, and I feel a library is a mechanism for people to climb out of poverty, a way to educate themselves.”

Once a contract has been finalized with Group 70, plans for the library will be open to public comment.

Ruderman said a possible location and other details regarding the new library are still being decided. He estimates the process of building the library will take another seven to eight years.

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