The Sun Prairie Public Library spent two days in design workshops drafting up ideas for potential renovations with the help of the community.
With the assistance of FEH Design and public comments, the library worked July 24 and 25 sketching different designs for all aspects of the building, such as larger spaces, parking, bathrooms and more. The library’s advisory task force is working on creating a plan to update the library as part of a 20-year vision.
At the moment, the 20-year-old library is not meeting all Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations and is in need of repairs to both the interior and exterior of the building. On top of these renovations, they are also looking to see what the public would want as part of its “dream library.”
Ann Semmann, library bookstore manager, said the library has been looking at improving the space now that it is beginning to reach its maximum capacity for serving the community.
“When they drew the plan up 20 years ago, they didn’t realize our population was going to expand,” she said. “The way Sun Prairie is expanding, it’s understandable.”
FEH Design held pin-up sessions and presentations on both days of the workshop showing drafts based on comments from the public. Architect Kevin Eipperle presented on the progress of the drafts at the pin-up sessions and the various directions they are able to go with possible additions.
Currently, the library and FEH Design have ruled out the idea of a second library in Sun Prairie. Part of it, Eipperle said, is the library is located in an ideal spot geographically and future growth trends show the library will continue to be even more centralized for years to come.
On top of being in a prime location, the community has spoken out about wanting to improve the current library.
“We’re very much focused on this building and how we could expand to complete our vision,” Eipperle said.
One area of change that will be addressed is parking. The library has 137 parking spots right now and Eipperle said the building code recommends 267— nearly double the current amount. The additional spaces will also require extra access points to the building. There is one access point to the building now, but Eipperle said the facility will likely need three.
When it comes to the actual building, FEH Design looked into adding another story to the library as well as expanding outward and a potential lower floor. Each of the designs drafted include the same square footage.
When it comes to pricing, Eipperle said the designs are all within $600,000 of each other and recommends the public should not decide which design to move forward with based on the cost.
How the project will be funded has not yet be determined either but could be split from a number of funding sources, including referenda, grants and foundations, Eipperle said.
The prices and final square footage FEH Design determined are estimates at the moment and will need to be finalized before the next advisory task force meeting.
The task force plans to meet with the library staff for its opinion on Aug. 10 and have another meeting Aug. 23 where FEH Design will give its final report and recommendation.