EARLY RESULTS IN: Voters must choose from these 7 polling sites in Fayetteville’s special library election

A rendering shows what an expanded Fayetteville Public Library could look like when viewing the facility from the south. The driveway area shown would be located where Rock Street currently runs between School and West avenues. The building to the right of the image is the current facility, and the structures to the left are the expanded areas that cross onto the old City Hospital property, including an open-air plaza for outdoor events.

Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle

Update (9:21 p.m.): Voters approved the millage. Here’s our story.

Fayetteville voters can choose from any of the six seven approved polling sites in the Aug. 9 library millage special election. Unlike some previous elections, voters may cast ballots at any of the approved sites, regardless of their voting precinct.

Polls will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 9. There will be no paper ballots on election day.

To check your voter registration status, go to voterview.org and click “Registration Information.”

» See a sample ballot

Polling sites:

  • Baldwin Church of Christ – 4399 Huntsville Road
  • Central United Methodist Church – 6 W. Dickson St.
  • Covenant Church – 4511 W. Wedington Drive
  • Mount Comfort Church of Christ – 3249 Mount Comfort Road
  • Sang Avenue Baptist Church – 1425 N. Sang Ave.
  • Sequoyah United Methodist Church – 1910 N. Old Wire Road
  • West Fork Community Center – 222 Weber St.

About the election

The special election was called in May after petitioners turned in enough signatures to trigger the vote.

If approved, the library’s current 1-mill property tax will temporarily increase to 3.7 mills.

The additional 2.7 mills would cost taxpayers an extra $54 each year for every $100,000 in appraised property value. It includes 1.2 mills for construction bonds and 1.5 mills for operating costs. Once the construction bonds are paid off, the tax would be lowered to 2.5 mills.

About the library expansion

Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle

Officials are hoping to gather about $26.5 million from the millage increase to put toward a $49 million expansion of the Fayetteville Public Library.

The facility, which opened in 2004, was designed to be a 20-year building, but officials have said many times that it has already reached its capacity in almost every measure.

The city’s population, which was at about 64,000 when the current building opened, has increased to over 80,000 people and is expected to hit 115,000 by 2030. Officials say the expected doubling of the city’s residents in the coming years should be a compelling enough reason to expand the library now, but have also said the project is not just about adding more shelves for books.

David Johnson, the library’s executive director, said the old model of what a library should be is dead, and that the Fayetteville facility must adapt to a changing dynamic that is affecting libraries all over the country.

For decades, he said, libraries have had a singular purpose built around providing stacks of materials for people to check out and then return.

“It was more of a consumption model,” he said. “But over time, we’ve now moved into a model that reflects more of libraries being a multi-purpose facility.”

Connecting people to knowledge, he said, has expanded far past just putting books into people’s hands.

Johnson said the Fayetteville Public Library sees about 185 visitors per hour, who are all there for a variety of activities, ranging from quiet reading, to attending packed-house guest speakers, to yoga classes and hands-on robotics training.

“Our spaces can no longer accommodate the demand we’re experiencing on a day-to-day basis,” he said.

» See our guide for expansion info