Library board member seeks new direction

By CHARLES PEARL State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Norman Snider has two goals for today's 7 p.m. meeting of the Paul Sawyier Public Library Board. He wants to keep the entire meeting open to the public. And he wants Lexington's Brandstetter Carroll Inc. (BCI) - architects, engineers and planners - to study the 770 Wilkinson Blvd. property as a possible site for a new library.

Snider, one of five voting members on the library board, once thought the best site for a new library building was the Wapping Street city-owned parking lot, next to the current library. Now he believes a better location is a five-acre site on Wilkinson, where the former Central Kentucky Sand and Gravel Co. was.

The Wilkinson Boulevard site wasn't on the market when the board began its search for property.

The library board contracted with BCI in March 2001 to do a feasibility study for a new library. Project goals were to analyze the current library building to determine if it could be expanded and renovated cost-efficiently; analyze three to five existing facilities in the community for possible renovation into a library; analyze three to five potential building sites for new construction; and include a comparative cost analysis of renovation and expansion versus new construction.

In February 2002, BCI recommended constructing a new library on the adjacent city-owned parking lot property on Wapping Street. At a public hearing, most citizens who spoke supported that recommendation. Then the library board voted unanimously to try to reach an agreement with the city to obtain the parking lot for a library site.

For more on this story, see today's State Journal.

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