Tuscaloosa Public Library no longer making Saban Center move

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Tuscaloosa Public Library

The Tuscaloosa Public Library will no longer be making the move to the multi-organization Saban Center once it opens.

The Saban Center, which is part of Elevate Tuscaloosa and sponsored by the Nick’s Kids Foundation, will be located in the former Tuscaloosa News building and consist of the Tuscaloosa Children’s Hands-On Museum, the Tuscaloosa’s Children’s Theatre and other organizations and available activities.

In July, the library’s board of trustees unanimously approved an estimated $31.5 million plan surrounding the future move into the Saban Center. But since then, some board members began raising concerns about budgeting.

The Tuscaloosa Public Library Board of Trustees announced on Monday that plans to move their main branch into the Saban Center will not move forward. They provided WVUA 23 with the following statement on Tuesday:

“Late last week, the Tuscaloosa Public Library was informed that it will not be included in the Saban Center. While the Board of Trustees very much wanted TPL to be included in this project, long-term funding for the operation of TPL’s portion of the project could not be guaranteed within the project’s time constraints.

“Because the majority of the funding for TPL comes from governmental funding sources, TPL relies on that funding for its operations. Despite discussions with the funding partners, we were not able to work out a solution for long-term funding within the time constraints required.

“Any statement that the Library made a decision not to participate in the project is not accurate.

“TPL understands that, because of timing and commitments, the Saban Center project must go forward, and we wish the project every success and look forward to this valuable addition to our community.  TPL continues to be committed to serving its patrons, to working with its funding partners, and to renovating the current location to provide the best possible service to its patrons.

Even though TPL will not be included in the Saban Center, we are excited about our long-range plans and what the future holds for optimal use of our current locations.”

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