The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

July 27, 2013

Renovating the library: Options for additions presented

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — Continued growth of the Clinton Public Library has City Council members contemplating a $14 million renovation project.

At a Committee of the Whole meeting this week, Library Director Amy Birtell, Gere/Dismer Architect Rob Winters and library planner George Lawson presented the board with a space-needs assessment study.

"You could not have picked a better time to be planning a library improvement," Lawson said.

The library space-needs assessment study explored two options for library renovations — one that included a small 2,300 square foot addition and the other with a 20,000 square foot addition.

The differences between the two options are a $7 million cost differential and nearly 10,000 square foot size differential.

Option one will be a full renovation of the existing Carnegie building and a small addition on the western side accommodating ADA accessibility requirements.

Option two also offers a complete renovation of the Carnegie building, as well as a 19,640 square foot addition including program rooms, an exterior plaza area and a cafe.

Each option also will offer additional parking, nearly 80 spaces, which the group said the library desperately needs.

"It's very confusing to come into the library. It's very difficult to get in with your vehicle and to meander and get through the parking lot," Winters said.

The council showed interest in the project and the option of having a contemporary library available to the community, but renovation costs hindered full support.

Councilwoman Jennifer Graf appreciated the specifications for each option, but wondered if a third option was available to meet somewhere in the middle.

"There is always an option three," Winters said. "This is just the beginning."

The next step for the group is to submit a request to the Capitol Improvements Planning committee to be included for referendum funding in the next five years.

The group hopes to finish the final report and have a conceptual plan to present to the city council by August.