State to move forward with plans for new Puna library - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

State to move forward with plans for new Puna library

Hawaii Island Hawaii Island

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - The state is set to start the planning phase for a new public library for underserved residents in the rapidly growing Puna district.

The Hawaii Tribune Herald reports that state lawmakers approved $800,000 for a feasibility study and initial phases of the project during the 2014 legislative session. Officials say negotiations with a Honolulu-based consultant that will conduct the study are almost complete.

The new library will be an addition to the three libraries that serve Puna residents in Pahoa, Keaau and Mountain View.

Democratic Sen. Russell Ruderman, who pushed for the project funding, says the library will serve as a learning center for the area's fast growing population of people in poverty.

Ruderman estimates the process of building the library will take another seven to eight years.

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