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Plans for new library forge ahead 

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New Library Redesign

Bids sought for construction 

Like many (or most) construction projects, building the new Brown County Public Library has not been without its kinks. But the enthusiasm of the library board is as strong as ever as they enter a new phase.

“We will construct a new library, and we are still on schedule to do so by as early as this fall,” says Jeremy Flynn, board president. “We’ve completed a redesign of the project to bring the anticipated cost within budget, and we’re letting it out for bids now.”

To recap, the campaign to raise $5.4 million was a rousing success, thanks to a state grant, a large anonymous donation, and generous giving by the community. When the construction bidding process opened last fall, the volatility of post-pandemic construction costs resulted in the sole bid being beyond the scope of the project.

“We’re committed to building a library for $5.4 million, and we will not ask for more from the community in donations or taxes,” Flynn says. “We know that $5.4 million can build a facility that meets our needs and is something the board and community can be proud of.”

So the project returned to the architects, Dewberry of Peoria, who simplified the roofline and made some minor exterior wall changes to make the building more attractive to contractors and more affordable given the budget.

“The interior is basically unchanged, as is the interior footprint,” Flynn says. “It’s going to be an impressive and architecturally beautiful building, both inside and out.”

Flynn notes that the new library, as originally planned, will be three times the size of the current facility. No change needs to be made to the original plan for programming and growth.

“The redesign continues to reflect the community surveys and recommendations. We just made it a bit more cost-efficient to make it doable within our original budget.”

A new round of the bidding process began August 1. (See notice in The DM.) The board plans to select a bid at its September 20 meeting.

Depending on the contractor’s schedule, construction could begin this fall with completion late next year.

Community members are encouraged to share the Advertisement for Bids in this issue with contractors they know.

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