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New Red Bridge library to open in 2019 at site of old Kansas City bowling alley

The new Red Bridge Branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library, depicted here by an artist, will open sometime next year at 453B Red Bridge Road.
The new Red Bridge Branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library, depicted here by an artist, will open sometime next year at 453B Red Bridge Road. Mid-Continent Public Library

The Red Bridge Branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library is relocating to larger digs in a former bowling alley at the Red Bridge Shopping Center.

The announcement Saturday of a long-term lease being finalized with the shopping center’s owner was made by Mid-Continent Director and CEO Steven V. Potter at the second annual South Kansas City Block Party.

The branch’s move within the shopping center will result in a library more visible from Red Bridge Road than the current facility, which faces Locust Street, and will add about 2,300 square feet. The new facility, covering 14,352 square feet, will include a community room, new public computers and an outdoor seating area.

“Not only will the new facility upgrade our space,” Potter said. “It will also allow us to remain close to all of the amazing development and growth that is occurring in the area.”

Renovation of the one-time bowling lanes next to Euston Hardware Store is tentatively scheduled to begin in January and be completed sometime in 2019. During construction, the existing library will remain open.

Funding for the relocation was made possible by voter approval in 2016 of 1 percent property-tax increase to boost the Mid-Continent library system in Jackson, Clay and Platte counties. The measure provided more than $10 million in new revenue annually.

In recent years the Lane4 Property Group, which owns and operates the Red Bridge retail center, has brought extensive rehabilitation and several new tenants to the 1960s-era shopping development.

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