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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

City to benefit from $1.6 million library expansion

Friday, July 22, 2005

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In the month of October, the Brazil Public Library will begin a 7,000-square-foot expansion that will double the size of the current library. The lawn, located to the south of the original library at 204 N. Walnut St., will house the new addition will be constructed by Pyramid Architectural firm.

The City's Municipal parking lot to the south of the current structure will remain after the addition is completed.

The addition will ultimately eliminate the need for the library's annex across the street at 203 N. Walnut St., so it will be torn down at the end of the construction. The space will become the library's parking lot.

Currently, the annex serves as the handicap accessible portion of the library and the place to keep the large print and paper back books. There are also personnel offices in the annex as well as the Clay County Literacy Coalition and the Genealogy Department. All of which will have designated areas in the completed building. The annex has been in use by the library since 1974. At that time, two doctors shared the building.

Library Director Jill Scarbrough said, "The annex would be torn down when the addition is completed. The building is not economically feasible because it is too costly to maintain."

The Friend's Book Shop will be torn down, rebuilt and relocated to the north east corner of the annex parking lot.

When finished, Brazil's library will be 100 percent handicapped accessible. There will be an elevator located in the new portion.

The new design of the library will also include two meeting rooms with the capability to hold up to 300 people combined. Each room will be supplied with a warming/cooling kitchen, bathroom, projector and furniture. The meeting rooms can also be locked off from the rest of the building in case people using the room stay past library hours.

There will be a public access computer lab, new bathrooms, a new check out counter, a literacy room, an expanded young adults section, an audio/visual room, a fireplace with a sitting area and an expanded Genealogy Department.

The new addition and the old portion will be separated by an atrium. The atrium will be the new entrance into the building, while the old entrance will be closed off and used as an emergency exit.

Of course the new addition must blend into the design and structure of the existing building, so the old building will be remodeled and redesigned.

According to Scarbrough, the estimated total cost of the expansion is $1.6 million. She said, the new addition has been made possible by grants from the State Library, a matching grant from Bill and Melinda Gates and from government bonds that will be repaid by an increase in property taxes. Only the City of Brazil and Brazil Townshipproperty taxes will increase to pay for the addition. According to Scarbrough in a letter to the editor, "For the owner of a $100,000 residential property, the annual increase in property would be about $26."



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