Architect’s news ‘depresses’ board

Lisa Depies

If the Geneseo Public Library District board was to use the $2.1 million they currently have on hand to build a new library, its size would be only slightly larger than the current building.

Library board members recently asked architect Alan Armbrust to estimate the type of library the board could build with the cash they have on hand.

The end result was a 10,000 square foot building, only slightly larger than the 6,700 square foot current facility.

“It’s depressing, but it’s also realistic,” said board member Jim Hale, who added that rapidly escalating construction costs have affected pricing for the building.

Though the board asked Armbrust to estimate the size of library they could achieve with the cash on hand, at their May 12 meeting, board members said they had no intention of building a library that small.

“(Retired library director)?Brenda (Fowler) said if we build a 15,000 square foot building, it would be full as soon as we move in. What’s that saying about a 10,000 square foot library?” asked board member Barbara Erdman.

“We admittedly ran out of room when we moved into (the current library building). We don’t want to do that again,” said Hale.

The 10,000 square foot plan “is not where we want to go” said board member Jim Luikart.

Instead, library board members plan to continue fund-raising efforts and to look into additional funding options.

Also at the meeting, board members:

• Approved maintaining the non-resident library card fee at $100.

• Appointed new library bookkeeper Lola Helke as the library’s Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund authorized agent.