Library Building Project Update: City Council and Project Information Meetings Announced

Since the beginning of August, the library staff has been working with noted library consultant Anders Dalhgren to develop what’s called the program plan for the new building. A program plan addresses questions of what happens where in a library and what needs to be there to make it happen. For example, it provides direction on the size of the collection we need and the amount of shelving we need for it. This plan guides the architect in the design phase.

In September, our architect, Joe Huberty of Engberg Anderson, will start working on building design. As of now we’re planning at least three public input sessions, called “charrettes”, during that month. Joe will develop and present plans, and we’ll use the charrette process to get feedback and refine the plans.  Our goal is to have close to final renderings by mid to late October.

This is an exciting phase because the ideas and concepts we’ve been working with are starting to come together in an actual, solid design that we can share with the public and for which we can begin to develop more precise cost estimates. Our planning is still based on a maximum budget of $12 million for library construction, but during this phase we can explore possible savings.

We’re also at a point where we have concrete plans to discuss with the City Council. To coordinate the efforts of the both the Council and the Library Board on the project, the two governing bodies have scheduled a joint special meeting for Wednesday, August 19 at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall.

On Wednesday, August 26, 2015, the Marion Public Library Board of Trustees will host a public meeting at the library from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. to provide information and answer questions about the library building project. The Board of Trustees will be in special session, and representatives from the City and our development partner Ryan Companies will be there.

A panel will address topics that include the need for the new facility, a review of the development of and rationale for a mixed-use project, the role of Ryan companies, the financing of the project, and the project’s impact on the economic development and tax base of the city. There will be brief presentations about the recently conducted needs assessment survey and the building design process. Following the panel presentation will be a question and answer period.

This meeting will be the first in a series of public meetings to provide updates and get public input on the project. The meeting will be held in the large meeting room of the Marion Public Library, located at 1095 6th Avenue.