Library seeks civil engineer to survey potential site

With the possibility of a new and improved facility on the horizon, the board of directors for the Addison Township Library is seeking a civil engineer to survey the donated land across from the library’s current location at 1400 Rochester Rd. in Lakeville.

The engineer will survey the land to see if it is viable for a new library, and the services will cost roughly $22,000. This survey will give officials an idea of how much it would cost to prepare the land to host a new library.

“We know the land will need to be prepared, but we don’t know if it’s five figures of land prep or… six figures of land prep,” said Library Board President James Baldiga. “So, this engineering project is to get us a pretty solid number (of project cost).”

The board is asking prospective firms to submit proposals by Monday, Nov. 5.

Once the engineer determines whether or not the land is fit, the board will decide if it wants to pursue the donated land or search for another spot. The donated land is 3.8 acres, and the board is hoping to make the possible new facility 5,000 square feet, which would give the library 2,000 square feet more than it currently has.

“We definitely want more space for programming,” said Library Director Jaema Berman. “ We need more space for studying, which is at a minimum right now. We have three tables (for guests) right now.”

If the donated land is fit for construction, the board expects to start construction relatively soon. But, of course, a timeline won’t be concrete until after the land is surveyed. If all goes as planned, the township could see a new library as early as spring in 2021.

“Typically, a project takes about 18 months,” said board member James Elsarelli. “We’re hoping to finish this project before our lease ends (at our current facility)… We have a strong feeling about this project and that we’re going to be able to move forward.”

Officials feel the library has outgrown its current facility and wants to provide the community with more space to utilize the library as a “hub.”

“I think this library has the potential to help grow the community and help bring people together,” Berman said. “And it would also be a chance for people to expand their horizons, to use technology that they may not have access to in this rural area.”

Though plans have not been drawn at this time, some of the things the board wants to include is larger community space for reading and studying as well as a private space for tutors or meetings.

“It would be nice to have a room with a door,” Baldiga said.

Berman thoroughly enjoys being able to provide community space to those in Addison, and is excited for the opportunity to make the library available to even more people in the community on a regular basis.

“When I started here in 2011, we had two or three programs here at the library, now we have well over 100,” Berman said.

So far, officials have been blown away by the community’s willingness to help with the project, namely the Alan Group, which has offered a number of free services. Once this survey is done, they hope to give those who want to help a better idea of where they can point their services.

“(Township Supervisor) Bruce Pearson has brought up how there are people ready to lend a hand, people with bulldozers,” Baldiga said. “We want those people to help us, we just need a plan.”

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