Beyond Words logo

The Evolution of Public Libraries Begins Here The Fayetteville Public Library Capital Campaign

Our Progress

The idea of expanding Fayetteville Public Library has been in the making for many years. Thanks to the continued support of Fayetteville residents, the expansion is now under way with the demolition of the former City Hospital building. Learn about some the key milestones that got us to this point as well as next steps in the process.

March 2013



FPL’s 2030 Master Plan Approved

The FPL 2030 Master Plan was approved by the Board of Trustees in 2013. It established recommendations for the library’s physical and service needs through the year 2030 in order to ensure the library continues to meet the needs of the city of Fayetteville and anticipates changes in the community.

The key takeaways from the Master Plan were that the library needs:

  • More space to meet, study, and collaborate
  • A youth services department that is double the current size
  • A stand-alone genealogy and local history area
  • More parking

Check out the master plan here (PDF)

August 2016



Fayetteville Voters Approve Two Millages

On August 9, 2016, Fayetteville voters approved two millage increases that will go toward operating expenses and funding the library’s expansion proposals:

  • 1.5 mills for operation and maintenance of the current and expanded library
  • 1.2 mills for bonds to pay for the construction of a library expansion

As part of the millage vote, voters approved $26.9 million of the $50 million library expansion budget. This leaves approximately $23 million to privately fundraise to complete the project.

July 2017



Purchase of City Hospital Property Finalized

Fayetteville Public Library finalized the $2 million purchase today of the former City Hospital property from Washington Regional Medical Center, officially clearing the way for expansion of the library on the four-acre property. The land had been tied up in litigation since 2012 following Washington Regional’s agreement to sell the property to Fayetteville Public Library.



Demolition Event of former City Hospital Officially Kicks Off FPL Expansion Project

Fayetteville Public Library officially began the expansion project with a demolition kickoff event at the former City Hospital property on Tuesday, July 17 at 9 a.m. Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan, along with members of various Fayetteville Public Library boards, participated. Demolition work on the property will take approximately three months followed by grading and site preparation through the end of this year.



Groundbreaking Event

The official groundbreaking of FPL’s 82,500+ square feet expansion project took place on Saturday, March 2. The event was held in conjunction with the library’s annual Read Across America Day. Local and state dignitaries – including U.S. Senator John Boozman, U.S. Congressman Steve Womack, and Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan – participated in the event along with members of various Fayetteville Public Library boards.

“This groundbreaking marks a major milestone for both the library and the City of Fayetteville,” said David Johnson, executive director at Fayetteville Public Library. “We are grateful to the citizens of this amazing community for believing in the library’s mission and for allowing us to expand in order to meet the needs of our growing city for generations to come.”



Jim Blair | Major Gift Announcement

FPL benefactor Jim Blair helped kickstart our Beyond Words capital campaign with a $2 million gift.

Blair, a former attorney for Tyson Foods, gave $3 million to help build the current library, which opened in 2004.

The library is named in honor of Blair’s late wife, Diane Divers Blair; his grandmother, Bessie Motley Blair; and his aunt, Dr. Mary Grace Blair.

“Jim Blair’s generosity to this library and to this community knows no bounds,” said David Johnson, the library’s executive director. “His latest gift is certain to inspire private support that is vital to the success of our $23 million capital campaign.”




Construction and Renovation Set to Be Complete