WARSAW — Warsaw Community Public Library began talks of renovating its facilities and its next steps in making the library more handicap accessible Monday afternoon, Nov. 13, at its monthly Board of Trustees meeting at WCPL.
The Library took a big hit in recent months when its elevator went out, forcing its clients to walk around the building to enter the building. The ramp however is out of the way and isn’t accessible to everyone as some power wheelchairs are too wide to fit down the ramp. “We had a few volunteers with Friends of the Library that had to walk all the way around to the ramp to get in the building,” said Warsaw Community Public Library Director Ann Zydek. “By the time they got inside, they were so out of breath they had to take a few minutes before they could actually start volunteering.”
The hinderance has caused the library to begin talks of what its future will look like. WCPL Facilities Manager Bruce Hively proposed a rough design of what the project would look like with a new elevator being added on to the current building and the old elevator removed and converted into a storage closet. However, the project is projected to cost well over half a million dollars. “Libraries aren’t supposed to start projects without the money set aside,” explained Zydek. However, the library appears pressed for time as its clients, volunteers and even staff are hindered by the situation.
The board of trustees increased the Rainy Day Fund to $361,000 for the 2018 budget during its September meeting in preparation for the the cost of project. Hively recommended that the library have the design and bidding scheduled for March or April with construction set for the summer because they’ll “want the construction enclosed by winter.”
WCPL is currently looking at a six phase plan for the renovation. The first phase will focus on building additional space for the new elevator and a new circulation desk, estimated to cost $198,900. Phase two will add new stairs for $26,600 with phase three adding the new elevator and an equipment room for $95,000. The final three phases will focus on removing the current elevator, LULA and equipment rooms while remodeling the current circulation desk area and the second floor conference room for $131,700. The library will remain open during the renovations.
In other news:
- The library accepted a revised Acceptable Use Policy.
- Friends of the Library made $1,800 at its most recent book sale.