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Relocation Recommendation

The Lawrence Public Library Board of Trustees has approved a recommendation from Library Director Brad Allen to temporarily relocate the library to 700 New Hampshire St, the former Borders building, during the expansion and renovation of the current library. The recommended plan stays within the $19 million project budget and allows for a shortened construction schedule, better customer service, and parking for library patrons. This recommendation will now be forwarded to the City Commission for consideration. 

In a memo to the Trustees, Allen outlined the benefits of relocation as well as the projected costs of moving off site. “Our number one priority is to continue serving our community in the best possible way during this transition,” said Allen. “It is essential to do this in a fiscally responsible manner.  This plan allows us to do both.”

Over the past few months, Allen has worked with senior library staff, city officials, architects at Gould Evans, and construction management staff from B.A. Green to study a variety of scenarios to best maintain library services during the construction period. Under the recommended plan, the library would lease the Borders building for 20 months. The overall cost difference between staying in the current building and relocating is projected to be $69,000, an amount planned for in the project budget.

John Wilkins, lead project architect from Gould Evans, added, “We see this is as a prudent investment that will significantly minimize the potential for additional unforeseen costs and liabilities. It allows us to stay on budget and manage the project in a more timely and efficient way.”

7 Comments

  1. Ruby Ducate says:

    If all agree that this is a good and prudent move–go for it. Need volunteers. Yell.

  2. Elaine Fellenstein says:

    I think moving to a temporary site is a great idea. I was concerned about parking and maneuvering through the construction mess. I heard that book requests for pickup would still be available, hopefully that includes audio books. Looking forward to the new and improved Library someday.

  3. Bonita says:

    The old Borders location seems like a good choice for the temporary relocation.

  4. Lori Johns says:

    Great idea! Let us know at the United Way Roger Hill Volunteer Center if you’d like volunteer support. I bet a lot of people would come out to help with this.

  5. Susie Nightingale says:

    Excellent idea! Maintaining as high a level of service to the public during the remodeling is essential. Parking would be a nightmare and unforeseen situations could arise from trying to maintain a semblance of order in the chaos of reconstruction. We all look forward to our “new” library.

  6. I am brand new to this community but very familiar with the dynamics of a small town library as I sat on the board of my home town library and was president of the board during a time of transition from our small downtown library to a larger, new library whose site was controversial. I am very impressed by the strong community support for the rennovations to the current library and the zeal for continued services. It speaks volumes of the quality of the community and its administration. I look forward to being a resident of Lawrence and an active patron of the library.

  7. Michael Kort says:

    Makes sence, to me, to move to temporary library digs !

    Library patrons, books, computers being exposed to construction dust, accidents, etc., is just not worth it !

    With patrons out of the building, property can be better protected & accidental injuries better avoided !

    Am looking forward, as are others, to seeing an improved Lawrence library for present & future users !

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