The Paul Sawyier Public Library Board voted 3-0 Tuesday night to sell the library building to the city and buy part of the adjacent city-owned parking lot on Wapping Street to build a new library.
The library board will receive $730,000 for the library building and will pay the city either $340,380 or $375,000 ($8.825 per square-foot) for parking lot space. It's approximately 0.9 acre. A property survey will determine exactly how many square feet the library board will get for its new site.
The vote came after board member Norman Snider made a final plea to consider the 770 Wilkinson Blvd. site and architect Louie Hugg Jr. reported on the pros and cons of the Wilkinson site. Hugg voluntarily serves as an official adviser to the library at no cost.
Of the 5.5-acre Wilkinson site, two acres are above the 100-year floodplain, and the library and prime parking could be built on those two acres, Hugg said. The site is also centrally located, highly visible and served by necessary utilities, he said, and city buses run along Wilkinson and could stop there.
Many pedestrians having to cross Wilkinson, with a 45-mph posted speed limit, was one main concern, he said. Another disadvantage, Hugg said, is the site is bordered by Capital Plaza cooling towers and an electric substation, and a parking lot of tractor-trailers.
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