MISSOULA — Missoula's current public library was built in 1974 and has served the citizens of Missoula ever since.
Across the street, the new Missoula Public Library is almost ready for its grand opening in the summer.
While it might not look like it now the library is getting closer and closer to opening its doors and the staff tells MTN News they couldn't be more excited.
"We have been waiting for this for so many years now its unbelievable to think that we have three months, so excitement is really high," Assistant Director of the Missoula Library Elizabeth Jonkel said.
There are too many new features to fit in this story all at once so lets start on the second floor.
"If your regard the second floor as kind of a one stop shop for families to come and have all day activities. Whether if its through the partners that will be joining us in the space with the climbing structure and the water tables to the traditional stuff that you see," Jonkel said. "Parents will have a hard time getting their children to leave."
On the third floor all of the old library resources have been preserved while also updating all the old technology from the previous building. Business rooms, study spaces and meeting rooms are all accessible on the third floor including a demonstration kitchen that aims to help people with nutrition.
One of the things the library staff is most excited for is their own entrance and elevator.
"Well, we spent my entire tenure at the library which is ten years stumbling over ourselves with the lack of space and lack of room to actually process and do our jobs well," Jonkel said. "What this means for staff is we actually will have breathing room to get the work done that we need to get don in an efficient manner."
One feature at the new library is the scenic views of Missoula and the Clark Fork River. Additionally, on the bottom floor of the building there is a garage with a separate bike locker section that will be available to store your bike safely or to skip the hassle of downtown parking. And on the third floor there will be telescopes set up towards Mount Jumbo to observe wildlife like elk.
The list of new features goes on and on, you can check them all out at the grand opening which is set for July 15.