Mayor Jake Woodford has announced a plan to move forward with the Appleton Public Library building project at the current site on North Oneida Street. Previously, the city had explored the possibility of building a new library on the site of Soldiers Square near the proposed U.S. Venture headquarters.
Recent studies have revealed the library needs additional space to accommodate large meetings, an increase in flexible infrastructure and more efficient circulation practices.
“For years we’ve known the library building has not been meeting the needs of our community,” Woodford said in a release. “We need to get this critical project moving, putting what we’ve learned from studies and feedback from the people of Appleton into a responsible and actionable plan.”
Beginning next year, leaders will create a plan for a library facility enhancement or replacement at its current location. The plan will incorporate results from previous studies as well as community input.
“More than 10 years of studies and work that have gone into the library project, but 2020 wasn’t something we anticipated,” said Rebecca Kellner, president of the Appleton Public Library board of trustees. “In light of the current circumstances, it’s important we reconsider our community’s needs balanced with the financial impact to the city. This process will give us the ability to do so.”
The City of Appleton owns and manages the current library lot. The press release from the library states that remaining at the current location simplifies, or eliminates, multiparty agreements and site acquisition issues, removing key barriers to the project and likely yielding cost savings. Additionally, the site supports stewardship of existing investments in parking and other public infrastructure.