Change is Coming to Oakland Park
When residents approved the City Bond they set in motion a series of changes that would need to be made in order to realize the vision contained in the City’s Strategic Master Plan.
One change that is currently on the table and being addressed by the City is the future location of the Ethel M. Gordon Library. There are 4 proposed locations currently being considered :
- Keeping the library where it is at
- Omega Church location in downtown
However, while there are 4 proposed locations for the library, it appears that there are two main choices toward which most Oakland Parkers are leaning : keeping it at the current location or moving it to the Collins Community Center, the future Central Park location.
Keep the Library at Its Current Location
At the latest City commission meeting on August 7th Tom Hardy, president of the Friends of the Oakland Park library and resident of Oakland Park for over 45 years, posited that most residents wanted the library to remain where it was. He noted that, although on short notice, he was able to compile a petition of 192 people that believed the library should stay where it was.
Hardy stated that given more time the Friends of the Library would be happy to complete a more thorough survey of the current users of the library, 3242 in total, and present the results to the commission.
Hardy’s sentiment was shared by Irene Walters, and Paul Sullivan, both residents of Oakland Park for over 40 years. Sullivan said that the current library could be torn down and new one built right on the same spot.
Move the Library to the Collins Community Center, future Central Park Area
David Bowles, a resident of Oakland Park since 2017, spoke in favor of moving the library. “We are not going to get rid of it, but improve it for its 3000+ users to enjoy it” Bowles stated.
Bowles idea of change was supported by Amos Chess of ATID Investments, LLC which owns 840 E Oakland Park Blvd and Dean Sirulnik, owner of several buildings in downtown Oakland Park.
Jack Doren, resident of Oakland Park since 2017, suggested that as the City considers this change we need to expand our vision of what a library is. “To have that kind of a vision we would really need space” Doren suggested without specifically pointing to Collins as the new location. Although the Collins Community Center would afford the library the greatest space in which to embrace a new vision.
City commissioners Jane Bolin, Michael Carn, Tim Lonergan and Vice Mayor Sparks all indicated that Collins Community Center is where the believed the new library should go. Their choice was based, in part, on a qualitative report submitted by a consulting firm hired by the City to make objective suggestions as the the new location of the library. Click here to read the report.
Mayor Sara Guevrekian suggested that the City continue to vet the locations and gain greater input from the constituency before a final decision is made.
What do you think?
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About the Author
Désirée Ávila has called Oakland Park her home for over 31 years. In addition to publishing LivingInOaklandPark.com , Désirée publishes, three other blogs and has been featured in print publications, locally and abroad. Désirée was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology. She is currently a licensed Florida Realtor® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism and to helping others with their real estate endeavors through education. Désirée is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.