Conceptual design of Winter Park library released

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Residents of Winter Park got their first look at the conceptual design of the new $30 million Library & Event Center.

"It's really a Library, an Event Center, a cultural crossroads for the whole community. It's not just a Library," says Daniel McIntosh of the library board of trustees.

Residents voted to have the sale of bonds pay for the majority of the $30 million bill. The current design includes three structures: a Library, Event Center, Pavilion, plus three lakes and the park.

"Kind of incorporate the indoors and the outdoors, while managing books, technology, allowing people to use the library, how a library is intended. It really is an educational tool, than just a space where people hang out," McIntosh tells FOX 35.

City officials say the proposed 50,000-square-foot library is more of a community campus, and the millions going into building it, will be partially returned.

"We don't always get a return on investment on infrastructure projects and projects we do for the community, but there certainly will be opportunities to lease out the space in all it's different aspects, whether it's the rooftop, whether it's the event center," says Winter Park Mayor, Steve Leary.  "I mean there is a return on our investment there, but if you're looking for a one-for-one return, you may not see it that way."

Not a dollar-for-dollar return, but residents we spoke to say it's a long term investment.

"Of course it's a lot of money, but it's going to change the face of the community and provide something that's deeply needed in the community, redo the whole Civic Center space, plus the Library in a space that will be part of this community and change the community for 50 years to come."

The project is expected to be completed in 2020.