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RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. — Friday afternoon at a special called council meeting, the City of Russellville received donations from two groups to expand learning and recreation opportunities.

The family of Billy and Leila Norris, prominent Russellville business owners, presented Mayor David Grissom and the city council with the deed to their historic home, located behind city hall.

The city will use the property to build a new public library and media center.

It’s something that Library Director Ashley Cummins said is greatly needed. “The number one need, I would definitely say, is space, Cummins said. “We don’t just serve the city of Russellville, we serve Franklin County as a whole.”

Cummins said the current library is nearing maximum capacity and the new Norris Library will help with housing more technology, supplies, and of course, books.

The Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation made a donation at the meeting as well—more than $300,000 for the construction of a splash pad, but not just any splash pad; Mayor David Grissom said this will be the largest splash pad in the state of Alabama.

“We’re so excited for the children of our community,” Mayor Grissom said. “It will be a great place for our kids to enjoy for many years to come.”

The splash pad is funded through the Pilgrim’s Hometown Strong program which is used to pour money back into the community. About half of the funds were used for the splash pad and the other half funded college scholarships.

Mayor Grissom said this is an exciting time for the city and he’s hopeful for continued growth.

The start date for construction on the Norris Library is not yet set but Mayor Grissom said he expects the project will be completed within five years. He’s hoping for the splash pad project to begin this fall.