Library Expansion Project Picks Up Speed

There has been a flurry of activity on the Northfield Public Librarys expansion planning process in the past few weeks.

Last Thursday night, the consultant presented the final report to the Library Board. As was revealed in the draft report, there are two primary scenarios developed. One is to expand the library in its present Downtown location. The second is to build a new facility on 2.6 acres someplace else in Northfield.

Cost estimates are developed for these scenarios. The cost for expanding on its existing site is $9.2 million. The cost for building a new facility is $8.7 million, without the cost of acquiring the 2.6 acres. Realistically, the cost of both scenarios is probably $9.2 million.

This past Monday night, the Library Board presented the final report to a City Council work session. According to reports, one of the Council Members jokingly suggested combining the new library with a pedestrian bridge over Highway 3. Well, that’s one way to achieve a safe crossing.

Reading the report, I was struck by comments made recently by two prominent Northfielders. At a recent NDDC E. R. Team meeting, Joe Grundhoefer (reviewing the consultants plan for the Q Block), and on a recent Locally Grown show, Tracy Davis (reviewing the consultants plan for the Liquor Store), both said something along the lines of “Wouldn’t it make more sense to start from the values and goals of the community and then develop a plan?”

Library Board member Bob Bruce sent me an e-mail encouraging people to share their ideas and opinions with the Library Board Members. I guess you can drop them off at the circulation desk, next time youre downtown.