Speaking Volumes: Library board yet to make final decision
by Nick Shimmin, WB Public Library · Op-Ed · January 25, 2013

This article is going to be a bit different than most of the other Speaking Volumes as this time it will just be to give a bit more information on the building project to-date.

We are very thankful for the coverage in last week’s issue and want to provide perspective on what the information there meant.

In 2012, the library completed the building program or “what does the library need” phase and the current process, site selection process, follows as the “where can that be done” part. The meeting referenced in the article last week was the second of three in this site selection process. Past studies conducted on location feasibility have shown that efforts at the current location, while preferential, may not be cost-effective. So, before the library looks to expand the current facility or build new on a new location, we need to know that it is both a good site physically and cost effective.

In order to do this, the library and community representatives developed a series of points that make a location good for West Branch, e.g., Is it out of the flood plain? Is there enough room for future expansion? Is it within walking distance for a majority of people?

And it turns out that there are several possible locations in town that might serve well as a library.

To further the process, the library will hold a two-day interactive design process on March 27th and 28th to see what a future library might sit or look like on those sites that were reviewed highly so far.

We’ll also begin discussing possible availability of other sites, costs of development, and possible purchase costs. I will provide more information later on, but please mark your calendar if you would like to participate!

As a point of note, there has been no site which has been officially selected by the library board.

The point made that the Hooverball Site was the top site in the rankings really means nothing more than it met the evaluation criteria well.

There are still some major considerations in the future to figure out what site may be selected for the future of the library and we hope that you’ll help us with your input along the way!

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