Safford Library getting more space for bigger, better programming

The City of Safford has changed its plan for the building at 814 S. Central Ave., following the city's purchase. Orginally planned to be a new City Council chambers, the building will now house large programs for the library. - David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

SAFFORD —A purchase originally planned for the City Council will result in more room for the library.

The City Council currently meets in the programming room at the rear of the library. A few months ago, the city acquired the building at 814 S. Central Ave., with the plans of using it to house the City Council, the Planning and Zoning Commission, and any other boards and commission that serve the city as well as nonprofit organizations seeking meeting space.

However, Library Director Victoria Silva said plans have changed. The City Council will continue to meet in the library, and the Central Avenue building will be used for the library’s larger events and programs.

“That will host some of our additional programming — the maker space, a recording studio, the cooking classes that we do with the Co-op, even Friends Night Out events,” Silva said. “That’s something we’ve kind of had going in the background for about a year now. We’re excited.”

The space will also benefit organizations that partner with the library, such as Dining with Diabetes. However, early literacy programs — such as story times — will remain in the main library so parents can help their children check out books to take home and continue learning.

Silva said roof repairs are required before the library can begin the process of getting the new building ready. She said she hopes everything will be operational in a few months, but, given supply-chain issues, it could be as much as a year before the new space is ready for use.