Barbara Dimick, Director of the Madison Public Library spoke to the club about the Downtown Library project.
Libraries are alive and well in Madison. Although many patrons come for the technology, book loans continue to increase as well.
Due diligence was given to plans from remodeling the 45 year old library to relocating it and selling the current building to the developer. The current plan expected to pass Common Council on May 4 is to strip the existing building down to the steel and to add a fourth floor. Remodeling was quickly rejected because all mechanicals, the roof, the elevators and security systems need to be replaced and the building does not support computers. The redevelopment plan was embraced but in the end the costs were too high to go forward. The Library Board is anxious to begin soon, reasoning that the construction companies are bidding aggressively in this economic climate.
If the plan passes the vote on May 4, we will have a new state of the art building in April 2012 at a cost of about $31 million.