Eau Claire City Council hears presentation on public library exp - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Eau Claire City Council hears presentation on public library expansion


Eau Claire (WQOW)- Monday, the Eau Claire City Council heard a presentation on a plan to expand a place known for expanding knowledge.

The library presented the results of a feasability student that included five different options to expand the building to meet the needs of an expanding Eau Claire. The current library is roughly 60,000 square feet and presenters say they would like to see the library closer to 100,000 to meet the city's needs.

The options range from minor renovations to starting from scratch on a whole new building. The construction is estimated to cost up to $20 million depending on which option is selected.

Posted: 8/4/17
Eau Claire (WQOW)
- A building full of books could be looking to build up.

On Monday, the Eau Claire City Council will hear a presentation about making some upgrades to the downtown library. The library recently finished a feasibility study that looked at a few different options, ranging from minor renovations to basically starting from scratch and building a whole new library. Staff said although there isn't much room to grow outwards with the surrounding streets and river, the building is capable of supporting an extra floor.

Library staff said the space they have now limits some of their programs, and the feasibility study is meant to learn more about how they can better serve the public.

"People are looking for different kinds of spaces and materials. Libraries have been historically very good at providing materials, but now we're trying to look at the space that we provide. One of our goals is to foster a culture of creativity and innovation, and one of the ways we can do that is providing space, space where people can turn ideas in to actions," said Isa Small, with the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library.

Monday's presentation is the first step of the process. Library staff said there will be public hearings if the council decides to move forward with concrete plans. Staff said as of now, there is no real timeline for any future projects.

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