Another big step in flood recovery is being taken in Cedar Rapids. This week, the city is taking over a building downtown that will become the city’s new library.

The old library was inundated by water from the Cedar River three years ago. Amber Mussman is a spokeswoman for the Cedar Rapids Library.

“It will be two floors with 95,000 square feet. It’ll have a 200 seat auditorium that faces Greene Square Park,” Mussman said of the new facility. The library will also carry a price tag of about $50 million. Since the flood, the library has been in a temporary location at Westdale Mall.

While the collection at the library continues to grow and so do the number of people visiting the mall, library officials say they’re ready to go home. “We’ve missed having that footprint downtown and we’ve felt crunched for space,” Mussman said.

That space keeps getting smaller as the library works to replace its collection. The flood wiped out hundreds of thousands of books. The new library will open its doors during the summer of 2013.

By Jill Kasparie, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids