Downtown Omaha library demolition underway
But not everyone is excited to see the old library go.
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the construction of Mutual of Omaha’s new downtown location.
For about a week, work crews have been demolishing the W. Dale Clark Library. For years the 45-year-old building has been a gathering place for the less fortunate.
“Well they have access to the computer and hang out but they can’t sleep there so a lot of confrontations happen,” said Mark Cantor.
Some of the homeless people we talked to say the library offers someplace to go during the day to get away from the shelter. It’s also a meeting place for those looking for a meal.
Kaitlin Hunt works downtown. She’s taking a break and reading a book from the library on her phone. She doesn’t think a downtown skyscraper will help those who need help.
“Honestly, I think it’s kind of a social injustice I see that there’s a lot of homeless people that use the library’s resources and I think they’re being displaced,” said Hunt.
The old downtown library is close to one of the city’s homeless shelters, Kaitlin and many others believed this library serves a purpose that won’t be replaced when the library is gone.
“As far as the cost-benefit analysis goes, I don’t see why that location which is central to, again, a lot of impoverished people who use not only books for learning but also the internet access facts resources things of that nature that have easy access to it. Impoverished people who depend on those resources are now going to have to travel by means that they may not have to different locations,” said Hunt.
The demolition of the former library will create a lot of uncertainty for a lot of people who counted on this building being in this spot.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen when the new building comes up,” said Cantor.
Officials say Mutual’s new headquarters should be complete sometime in 2026.
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