The Tanglefoot Trail Welcome Center beside the library will officially open Saturday, April 24.
There will be an informal ceremony and the open house will be from 9 a.m. to noon.
Library Director Sissy Bullock will provide coffee and have activities for kids as well.
The date was chosen in part because that also is the formal spring opening date for the Tanglefoot Trail itself.
The welcome center, designed to have some architectural elements of the city’s old railroad depots, was partially funded by a $125,000 MDOT transportation grant. The grant was originally intended to pay for an access road from Gulf Street to the pavilion beside the trail on Carter Avenue. Aldermen rejected the initial grant but the city was later able to get it repurposed for the welcome center.
Mayor Tim Kent was also able to get $40,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission, leaving about $70,000 needed from dormant city funds.
A phase two plan exists in which a meeting room would be added to the north end of the welcome center but no funds have been available for that.
The welcome center includes rest rooms, displays showing the history of the railroad and space for information or souvenir sales.
The original trail plan included three welcome centers, one each in New Albany, Pontotoc and Houston, but no funds were available then for the estimated $350,000 cost of that design.Appalachian Regional Commission, MDOT, New Albany, Northeast Mississippi, opening, Tanglefoot Trail, Union County, welcome center