(TUCSON, Ariz.) – As of January 27, 2017 at 5 pm, library services ceased at the Geasa-Marana Library. The building will be transferred to the Marana Unified School District (MUSD) for information technology uses.
With humble beginnings as a 1,000 square foot room within the Pima County Government Complex, the space at 13370 N. Lon Adams Road was never originally intended to serve as a library, but as a Sheriff’s Department substation. Although a 1995 remodel and enlargement increased square footage to 2,900, the space contains multiple small storage rooms and holding cells, which cannot be used by the Library without incurring renovation costs.
A recent assessment conducted by Pima County Facilities Management concluded that it could cost up to $700,000 to make the upgrades needed to address limitations of the current design and layout. The market value of the property is only $470,800.
In its current form, the building is better equipped for use by MUSD, whose administrators plan to use the building to fill an urgent need for office space to support their ongoing commitment to offer computer-based and technological programs at its seventeen schools across 550 square miles.
“While we’re sad to be closing the doors of the Geasa-Marana Library, we’re glad to know that it will be used by the school district to support the use of technology to maximize student learning and achievement,” says Amber Mathewson, Interim Library Director.
Building a new facility in north Marana is high priority and will be pursued alongside other vital projects. These projects include an expansion of the Flowing Wells Library in 2017, a new library to serve residents in southeast Pima County, and a much-needed expansion of the Sahuarita Library.
County and Library officials are currently exploring the possibility of locating a future library in conjunction with the school district. When pursued, the issue could be brought to voters in a bond proposal.
Marana community members are encouraged to use the larger, regional Wheeler Taft Abbett, Sr. Library, located off the I-10 N. Cortaro Road exit; open 59 hours, 7 days of the week. At 24,000 square feet, this library features more than 75,000 items in its collection and offers 57 public use computers.
Cheryl McCurry, Wheeler Taft Abbett, Sr. Library Manager, says, “We’re excited to welcome the greater Marana community to enjoy all that we have to offer. With weekly baby, toddler, and preschool Storytimes, we’re a perfect, family-friendly destination. In addition, we host Science Saturdays, Chess Club, Computer & Homework Help, and so much more.”
Library staff recognizes the ongoing need for services in northern Marana and has made arrangements for the Bookmobile to visit Ora Mae Harn Park near the Geasa-Marana building on the third Saturday of each month 9:30-11:30am. In addition to being a source for customers of all ages to check out books, the Bookmobile has recently been outfitted with WiFi and laptops to provide internet access. The Library will continue to explore collaborative programming with Marana Unified School District and the Marana Parks & Recreation Department.
In the end, this move will help to meet the current infrastructure needs in one of the state’s largest school districts. Mathewson concludes, “Closing the doors of a library is never something we want to do. With this decision, we are opening the possibility of future collaborations to better serve the community.”
About Pima County Public Library
For more than 100 years, we have been here for people just like you. Today, in our libraries, online, or out in the community, our dedicated staff and volunteers are always looking ahead to help you find what you’re looking for. Every day, we’re making our mission a reality by educating and connecting people and inspiring ideas.