The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Features

February 22, 2013

Patching up the Clinton library

Study will identify how to improve

CLINTON — The basement floors are rotting, the plaster is falling from the walls, the stairs are separating from the building and that’s just the beginning of a long list of problems confronting the Clinton Public Library’s main branch, says Director Amy Birtell.  

“The building is 110 years old and little has been done to it as far as general upkeep,” Birtell said. “We’re facing a lot of challenges with the building because of the age.”  

After a number of failed referendums to relocate, library staff is abiding by the will of the people and trying to improve the historic structure by hiring a group of experienced library renovation professionals that will identify what the library needs to succeed.  

The needs assessment study will be conducted by a team of professional from Gere/Dismer Architects, Lawson Library Planning, KJWW Engineering Consultants, Paragon Commercial Interiors and Missman Inc.

This group will work with library staff and residents to determine what the library needs to best serve the community and what approach should be taken in order to improve the facility. 

Birtell has her first meeting with the team in the beginning of March. From there, the study will involve three to six months of staff interviews, community forums, investigation and assessments.

Assessments will be conducted on all aspects of the library. The team will asses the building systems, energy efficiency, ADA compliance, what renovations need to be made and the potential for a future addition onto the existing library.  

“We just need community support. This is a fixture of the community that has served a lot of people,” Birtell said. “I really see this as a collaborative effort.”    

The study cost $50,750 with $20,750 coming from the city and the remaining $30,000 funded by a grant from the Clinton County Development Association. The city portion was recently borrowed through a general obligation bond approved by the Clinton City Council  

Birtell said she’s aware of concerns over spending money to conduct a study rather than simply fixing what begs to be fixed. However, she said, the study will allow her and her staff to have an improvement strategy that will outline the most efficient way to fix the aging facility.  

 We need to take care of these things in a systematic approach so that we do it correctly,” Birtell said. “I don’t want to re-do. I want to do it right the first time.”

Once the study is completed, Birtell will be given a plan that is divided into phases with cost estimates so staff can raise funds for the improvements.   

“When we get done we’re going to have a plan,” Birtell said. “It’s a plan I can’t put together. I don’t know the ins and outs of restoration and renovation.”

Birtell has assembled a team of grant writers who are applying for funds that would aid the mission to maintain the facility according to whatever plan is produces. The Union Pacific already granted the library $30,000 to repair the stained glass windows and skylight as well as put on outside window covers.  

All non-emergency improvements will be halted until the study results are finalized in order to avoid any unnecessary costs or wasted time.  

Despite the facility being in desperate need of upgrades, the library proves to be a service the residents of Clinton seek more often than before. According to Birtell, 4,000 more items were checked out in 2012 than 2011. The study and the ensuing improvements partnered with programming additions will only increase these numbers and enhance the experience patron’s experiences, she hopes.  

“”When this is done and even now, I want people to know the library has something to offer everyone,” Birtell said. “This is really going to be a cultural, an education and a recreational place to hang out.”

1
Text Only
Features
  • 4-22-14 CCC Pay it Forward Week CCC gives back to community CLINTON -- A community college is defined as a junior college offering a higher education to people living in a particular area. For the staff, faculty and students at Clinton Community College the definition of community plays a much bigger role tha

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kness photo Leader, wife run on in fight against cancer FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Fort Bragg Soldier Col. Lenny Kness, chief of staff, 1st Sustainment Command (Theater), is an avid runner. So, it was no surprise in October 2011 that he would stay the course, as planned many months before, and run the Army Ten M

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-21-14 Ash Borer AP photo Horticulturalists: Infestation of Emerald Ash Borer 'inevitable'

    CLINTON - Not everyone at the Bickelhaupt Arboretum can remember what happened to local horticulture in the late 1960s. They've all heard stories, though, about how Dutch Elm Disease laid waste to scores of trees across the Midwest. Now another infes

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Women on Fire event is Wednesday at Vista Grande CLINTON -- For many years, women in business have been honored in the city of Clinton, but on Wednesday, they have a night all their own. The Women are on Fire event will begin at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Vista Grande in Clinton and will offer an oppo

    April 19, 2014

  • Paul Miller Scout master keeps Troop 74 going strong CLINTON -- Scout Master Paul Miller loves the outdoors, camping, fishing and scouting. For the past 13 years, Paul, of Clinton, has led this area's only Boy Scout troop for challenged individuals, Troop 74. While a typical troop allows boys ages 11

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • World Book Night A big love for books CLINTON -- Sharing a love for books is something members of the Clinton Public Library have always promoted and embraced. On Wednesday, they will join the rest of the world in spreading that love throughout communities. World Book Night, which conve

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-17-14 Trees forever photo 2 Let it grow (with Video)

    CLINTON - A new generation of trees will be planted by a young generation of Irish. Wednesday during class, Lisa Golden's Prince of Peace Prep third-graders continued their year-long biology education with the help of Clinton's Trees Forever organiza

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Communities prep for hunts CLINTON -- Easter weekend is nearly here and two local organizations are calling all children for the hunting event of the year -- Easter egg hunting that is. Both Camanche and Fulton, Ill., will host Easter egg hunts Saturday, each at different time

    April 17, 2014

  • Women's Expo set for Tuesday at Wild Rose CLINTON -- It is time again to gather the girlfriends and head out to the Ultimate Spring Women's Expo at the Wild Rose Event Center in Clinton. The third annual expo from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, hosted by the Clinton Herald, offers an opportuni

    April 14, 2014

  • Fulton housing loan Program to assist Fulton resident FULTON, Ill. -- Brian Hollenback and Beth Payne delivered good news last week, traveling to seven cities, three counties and two states, ending their journey in Fulton. Hollenback, who is the Northwestern Illinois Housing Coalition president, and its

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Facebook