MISSOULA – The construction of the new Missoula Public Library continues downtown, but it’s the old library location that’s making news this week.
Missoula businessman Terry Payne recently gifted the current library on the 300 block of East Main Street to the City of Missoula.
The city says Payne initially had exchanged the 400 block of East Main, where the new library is under construction, for the existing library location.
The city, however, was offered the plot of land and building as a gift last Friday at no cost.
The City of Missoula will have to continue to pay rent until the library moves to the new location, and then planning will begin on how to utilize the new space.
Mayor Engen says there are some ideas.
“We need quality, affordable places for Missoulians of all incomes to call home. We need parking, retail and public spaces,” Engen said. “All of that will inform what I anticipate will be a request for development proposals.”
Payne added he has confidence in the city to utilize the property in the best interest of the Missoula community.