When the Waunakee Public Library on South Street is sold, the property could include fewer parking spaces.
In the late 1990s, a quit claim deed was signed for the library parking area attached to the high school parking lot that would take effect if the library property were sold for any other use than municipal purposes.
“At a point in the late 1990s, there was an agreement to do a land swap between the school district and the village where the library parking is today. It was part of what went to the village for the library parking and then a small triangular piece,” said Randy Guttenberg, school district administrator.
The former school administration building to the north of the high school was deeded over to the school district, Guttenberg said.
Guttenberg said from his understanding, language in the deed states that the South Street library property will remain with the municipality so long as the land remains in municipal use.
Village of Waunakee officials are looking into possible uses for what will soon be the former public library as construction on the new North Madison Street library nears completion. The new library is set to open Aug. 1, leaving the South Street building vacant.
Village officials planned to reach out to neighboring property owners to learn what uses they would prefer for the South Street location.
Village Administrator Todd Schmidt said he informed the school district of the deed. He said he is unsure how it affects the value of the property or its future.
“That’s all intertwined with our effort to look at how the neighbors might perceive the future uses,” Schmidt said. “That’s a process.”
The building does have a parking lot connected to the lower level, but the egress would be on school property if the building were sold for non-municipal purposes.
“There’s potential for some geometry changes,” Schmidt said, adding that the lower access point would have to be widened. “We haven’t gone there yet,” he said.
There could be some negotiation on the deed with the district.
“We just don’t know at this point what uses are going to be in front of us, or what parking is needed,” Schmidt said.
The Waunakee school board toured the building prior to the June meeting. The board could consider purchasing the building in the future, but Guttenberg said while tour went well, the intention was simply to look at the building “from a different lens.”
“It was really just to get acquainted with the library and be part of that conversation,” Guttenberg said. “We have not had a discussion about what any board members felt about the library other than taking time to see the library and does that fit within our plan or does it not.”
Schmidt said he informed Guttenberg of the deed prior to the school board’s tour of the library.
The appraisal of the library was done two years ago, Schmidt added, but he did not recall the appraiser mentioning the deed.