Groundbreaking on the new Mountainburg Public Library is set for Thursday, July 20, at 9:30 a.m.

Crawford County Library System personnel will break ground on what will be a new 4,000-square-foot public library at 223 U.S. 71.

Local and state officials are being asked to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony, and the public is invited to attend, said Gayle Williams with the Crawford County Library System.

Mountainburg’s current library is about 2,500 square feet, said Eva White, Crawford County Library System director. The new building will have an open concept with rolling shelves to allow it to be used for multiple purposes, White said.

“We hope to provide quite a bit more programming,” White said. “We didn’t have room in the old building to do a whole lot.”

Other amenities the new library will have include self service, which allows patrons to check out books and other media at their leisure, White said.

MAHG Architecture and Hawkins-Weir Engineers Inc. worked on the design and Crawford Construction Co. will oversee construction of the new library, which is expected to cost about $546,000.

CCLS has just enough money to pay for the library’s construction, White said, after an anonymous donor offered the remaining $86,000 needed during a May meeting of the Crawford County Library Board.

CCLS already had about $460,000 put aside for the project.

“If nothing breaks or comes unloose, we’ll be fine,” White said.

Gary Crawford, Crawford Construction Co. president, and Rich Rapin, project manager for the company, also offered the pre-construction work for free to help keep costs down for the library system, which operates on a tight budget.

White did not have an estimate when the library would be completed, she said.

“I’m hoping we’ll have it done by the first of the year - that’s my schedule, not theirs,” White said.

A sale of five acres originally purchased to be the location for the new library is set to close on Wednesday for about $45,000, White said.