Friday, January 18, 2008

Norman talks about a new public library

From the Norman Transcript:
...Building a new library and vacating the Norman Public Library space at 225 N. Webster Ave. would free up the building for the crowded public works department. The Norman Senior Citizens Center also could move into the space, effectively doubling its square footage.

McKinney estimated it would take about $11 million to renovate the current library space and Building B.

"The library is leaking badly and it would take major work to salvage," he said, estimating renovation costs at $3 million for roof and mechanical systems if the library remained there.

Lewis said the office would be renovated to standard office space.

"The office space needs not to be the Taj Mahal," he said.

A new library would account for $49.5 million of the bond vote, a number that could be reduced with private fundraising. Library proponents have set a goal of raising at least 10 percent of the total privately. The library would tentatively be located on the southeast corner of East Main Street and Porter Avenue.

"If we meet our private fundraising goal, we don't have to issue the additional bonds," Rosenthal said. "And we know there are some real opportunities to do that."

Rosenthal said the library committee is going to challenge the community to raise funds for the library, so some of the costs can be defrayed and extra features built in....

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