Archive for Thursday, December 9, 2010

City council OKs developing preliminary plans for library expansion

The Baldwin City Public Library is in need of more space so that it can expand its collections of books and videos and serve more groups in its popular meeting room, library board members told the city council on Monday.

The Baldwin City Public Library is in need of more space so that it can expand its collections of books and videos and serve more groups in its popular meeting room, library board members told the city council on Monday.

December 9, 2010

For the first time in five years, members of the Baldwin City Public Library board of directors are talking about the need for an expansion to the 17-year old building.

On Monday, board members spoke to the Baldwin City Council about a possible expansion. After listening to the presentation, the council gave the library board the approval to move forward with the preliminary stages of the project.

“I think what you’re hearing from the council tonight is we’re willing to take it the next step,” Mayor Ken Wagner said. “I think we will see what kind of money it would take to make this happen.”

The finances of the project were only briefly discussed Monday. Kyle Trendel, library board member, estimated the cost of preliminary drawings to be $1,500 to $2,000. He also said expansion might cost from $150 to $175 per square foot.

The plans completed five years ago call for a 5,000-square-foot expansion to the 6,000-square-foot building. At the price-per-square-foot estimate Tyendel shared that would cost from $750,000-875,000.

“The funding is truly up to them and how they want to do it,” Ivan Huntoon, library board member said of council. “I trust them to do what’s best for the community.”

Council members suggested sales tax revenue could help pay for the project. However, Wagner said a bond issue might be used to pay for the project, but that was still undecided.

Most of the discussion and information Monday night centered on the library’s lack of space and usage in the community.

“I’m very passionate about libraries, and we have a wonderful library. But it’s just too small,” said library board member Carol Chapman. “It is used by so many people in the community, but we can’t properly serve them, because we are out of space.”

Chapman said the library had thousands of books for all ages, as well as DVDs and movies to rent. It has several computers with Internet access, but more computers were needed for local patrons.

Baldwin High School students have been using the library recently because district budget cuts have made the school unable to hire full-time librarians. The library is also part of a 33-library consortium, which has enabled members to check out books and other materials from other libraries.

However, the library can’t add additional books or movies because of space limitations.

“For us to adequately serve the community, we need more space,” Huntoon said. “We need more office space. We need more storage space, because we no storage space in the existing facility. Patrons have requested things that we don’t have room for and they are things that aren’t out of bounds. They are things that the community would use.

“One example is the community room that is almost used on a daily basis. We’d like to make that larger, so we could offer it to larger groups in the community that could use it as well.”

The previous drawings have the building expanding to the south and west. Huntoon said that was probably the directions it would expand, but plans would have to be developed.

“As far as the design, we need to talk with the library staff and the patrons, who have requested things to find out exactly how they’d like the building to be designed,” Huntoon said. “We have discussed some of these things, but we need to nail them down so that the city council can make an informed decision. I feel that it is our responsibility to get these numbers to the city council.”


greyghost 7 years, 6 months ago

Isn't Robin Bayer on the library board?


true_bulldog 7 years, 6 months ago

He was the president of the library board years ago, but quit. Depends on who you believe as to the reasons why and his behavior when he quit.


Stacy Napier 7 years, 6 months ago

I don't know but looks like they are on the same bandwagon. Everyone wants to build bigger and have more money.

Really we should build a race way and an amusment park. Maybe attract a professonal sports team. We can be as big as KCKS


Justask 7 years, 6 months ago

If I remember correctly, wasn't that last sales tax we passed (the neverending one replacing the pool sales tax) supposed to raise enough money for the library expansion?


jgillispie 7 years, 6 months ago

Just a clarification, no new taxes will be raised to pay for this project. It will be paid for by the quarter-cent sales tax that was passed last year.


BaldwinDad 7 years, 6 months ago

While I love our public Library, I don't think spending money on a luxury item such as this should come before things like sidewalks, street drainage, and proper lighting are provided all over town, but that is just me.


Stacy Napier 7 years, 6 months ago

Sure Jimmy no "New Taxes" but when do these sales tax or bonds ever expire. They don't becuase someone will always be in line when they are due up to say we need the money and we are not rasing your taxes.

How about our taxes going down sometime.

As for a luxury item. I think a library is an important need, but not when they want to rent movies or provide computers. Librarys are susposed to be holders of information. Not centers for entertainment. We have a movie rental store.


1776attorney 7 years, 6 months ago

Just a few points to add to your conversation here---

Keep in mind that the "luxury" items mentioned here are things offered by the majority of libraries statewide. The state of Kansas has one of the better statewide library systems.

In addition, these items are paid for by the privately funded endowment managed by the library board. The endowment was/is funded by donations and estates of deceased patrons. In fact, the Baldwin City Library is very lucky to have this substantial endowment.

The library building itself is a community effort supported through special taxes or bonds.

The endowment and city provided funding are in partnership.

Also, keep in mind that the Baldwin School Board has "dumped" all of their students into the city library system now after they decided they wouldn't pay for a librarian or library services within the school district to save money. So now the city library must absorb all these students which number in the hundreds, including the substantial costs.

The school board will really have "gall" if they now hire an athletic director with all the "savings" (or dumping) that they've been "forced" to institute.


Torch 7 years, 6 months ago

The city and state are going to bankrupt themselves.

If any of you saw 60 Minutes last night we all have very good reason to be afraid.

Don't take on more debt in a recession...unless you live in Baldwin City.


BaldwinDad 7 years, 6 months ago

Wow...we agree on something Torch...we are on the path to Bankruptcy...I keep telling some of my friends that are living on Social Security and Govt pensions what are you going to do when the checks stop coming cause the state and or Federal Govt declares Bankrupt.

They all tell me I'm crazy and it will never happen...I'm like ok...just like what people used to say when certain experts told people in the last part of 90's that China would be a major economic power and would own almost all of our country via Treasury Debt they kept buying.


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