The Marion Public Library Board of Trustees and Library leadership continue to work closely with our development partner, Ryan Companies, and the City of Marion to craft a plan for a new library that will effectively meet the needs and exceed the expectations of the Marion community while also reflecting careful stewardship of resources.
Recent Library Board decisions related to the project include
- Identification of a target site for the new library: the Marion Square property located between 11th and 12th Streets and 6th and 7th Avenues. This site would keep the library in Uptown, connect the library and the park for more cooperative and complimentary services with the Parks and Recreation Department, create a welcoming gateway for the area, and allow the block to be aesthetically reconnected to the Uptown area.
- Continued commitment to the concept of a mixed-use building that will include retail and housing in addition to the library. Benefits of being part of a mixed-use facility include tax revenues from the residential and retail components offsetting operating expenses of the library; increasing foot traffic in the area, which will benefit other Uptown businesses and amenities; and modeling a type of development that will work well for Marion as the population increases.
- A proposed budget of $12 million for the library. Careful stewardship of resources is one of the key goals set by the Board, and this budget reflects that commitment.
- Support for the idea of a request for proposals related to the reuse of the current library location, similar to the recent process for the Emerson School site. This would allow the Library and the City to evaluate suggested uses and discern the best use of the location.
As always, we welcome questions and comments about this project (or any other library initiative). Please feel free to reach out to the Library Director Elsworth Carman, Library Board of Trustees President Susan Kling, or join us at a Library Board of Trustees meeting (2nd Mondays starting at 6 p.m.).