CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha County Public Library officials are moving the library's Elk Valley branch to The Crossings mall in Elkview.
Relocating the Elk Valley branch, currently in Big Chimney, is part of a $50 million renovation plan that would also see construction of a new public library in Charleston, renovations of four other branches and construction of a new branch in Marmet.
Library officials originally planned to build a new branch library somewhere in the Elk River area.
But Mike Albert, president of the Kanawha County Public Library board, said library officials had trouble finding a suitable location for the new branch.
Library officials are also under orders to bring the old Elk Valley branch into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a process that is expected to cost about $900,000.
A branch location in The Crossings will solve both problems at once, library officials said. On Monday, the library board voted to lease space in the Elkview mall for the new branch.
Albert said the space at the mall is fully handicapped-accessible. Over 20 years, Albert expects the roughly $100,000 annual lease payment to be less than building and operating a new library.
Library officials say the new branch will be the first library in the state located in a shopping mall. The branch will be easily accessible from Interstate 79 and provide plenty of parking.
Albert said the building will offer a drive-up book drop, extended hours, study rooms, computers and meeting space. "We're hoping to have it up and running sometime in January 2011," Albert said.
"We've done a lot of work on this," he said. "It's an innovative and creative approach to siting the library."
Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.