A little bit of local friendly competition is healthy, especially when focused on something as important as a library. Horizon West and Lake Nona (East Orlando) are the fastest growing communites in the Orlando region and with that wild expansion is the need for some essential infrastruture and services. Suitable land was close to being located for Horizon West but Lake Nona's site was proving to be difficult. This led to some back and forth until a compromise followed that will allow both branches to be built at the same time. OCLS did a great job with the updates and it's honestly interesting to catch up on (READ BELOW!). The short and sweet is that we have a library coming, estimated around 2024/2025. Woot!
What are the plans for opening a library in Lake Nona and Horizon West?
On June 9, the Orange County Library System Board of Trustees approved leases for new library branches in both Lake Nona and Horizon West.
In Horizon West, the library will have a ground lease with Orange County that will allow for the design and construction of a library in the Horizon West Regional Park. The library will design and construct a 20,000 square-foot building and outdoor pavilion that will share parking and outdoor space with recreation and community facilities operated by the county. In Lake Nona, the city of Orlando will design and construct the Lake Nona Branch as part of the new Southeast Government Center to be built on Dowden Road. The facility, which will also feature shared outdoor space and a stage, will be leased to the library upon its completion, with an option to purchase the building at a later date.
“Now that these leases have been approved, we have a clear path forward in both Lake Nona and Horizon West,” said Library Board of Trustees President Crockett Bohannon. “I want to thank the city of Orlando and Orange County for working with us to make it possible to begin work on both branches at the same time. This has been a long road and a lot of hard work, but I’m proud of what we have been able to accomplish. I’m happy to tell the people living in Lake Nona and Horizon West that they have libraries on the way.”
In July 2021, the library announced that it was working with the city and county on a plan to build these branches. The leases signed this week are the culmination of a collaborative effort to work toward a creative solution that would allow the library to fund and construct two branches in the same time frame.
On November 17, Chief Branch Officer Danielle King participated in Commissioner Nicole Wilson's Horizon West Town Hall to keep the community up to date on the plan to build a new branch in Horizon West.