3/19/2006 Houston-- The central library in Downtown Houston will be closed starting April 3 for renovations. A new wireless network, contemporary furniture and a cafe are part of the $14.9 million dollar renovation plan. The completion date will be sometime at the end of 2007.

Officials want the building to be downtown's community center, a place where people think to come because they want to, not because they have to. A visual rough draft includes a grand staircase entrance, a colorful, new children's and teens' room, a plaza that doubles as an art display- all accessible to wheelchair users.

After the library closes on April 3, Houston residents can request its resources at any of the city's 36 branch locations or at the Houston Public Library Express Downtown, across from the Central Library in the Julia Ideson Building at 500 McKinney.

Some Houston residents feel this renovation project is a huge inconvenience. To some, this is the only library they use. Others say the renovated facility will be worth the wait. A library-goer says she cannot wait for the wireless network which would be a huge benefit. The main purpose of the renovation though is to repair the building's infrastructure. The Houston downtown library was built in 1976 and has not been renovated since. There will be infrastructure as well as aesthetic renovations done to the building.

(Contributed by Alexis Grant)