The City of Moundridge and the Moundridge Public Library Board have been in discussions for several years about moving the library to a new location, to give them more room for growth and programming. The library’s vision and plan for more space reflects priorities laid out in the community conversations surrounding the city’s strategic plan completed in recent years.
The Library Board’s initial plan was to move the library across the street and renovate the Old City shop. A vision was created; architectural drawings were prepared and the estimate for remodeling the City Shop into a Library was nearly $800,000. With the addition of new shelving and furnishings the cost was estimated to be approximately $900,000 to $1 million.
Recently another option became available. A representative from St. John’s Lutheran Church contacted the City to ask if we would be interested in purchasing their building to use for the Library. They will be closing at the end of this year.
We have looked at the building several times with City staff; the Library Board and others. A contractor and an architect have provided estimates on remodeling the church into a library. Those costs along with the purchase of the building would amount to approximately $400,000 which is less than half of what it would cost to utilize the old City Shop building.
The Library could finance the reconfiguration of the building using specific library grants; the sale of tax credits; utilizing existing capital improvement funds and private donations.
Moving the Library four blocks north of its current would take the Library out of the downtown business district. At the same time the move four blocks would still put the library in the center of the community as our residential growth has been moving to the north for more than 15 years. Moving to the north location would also provide a facility with off street parking and a yard for outdoor programming.
There will be public forums and focus groups in the future to discuss and explore this possible building project.
The City Council will be looking at more detailed cost estimates at their next meeting in October.