A more modern look may be coming to a portion of the historic Carnegie Library building.
City commissioners Tuesday night got their first look at plans for a small addition to the north side of the vacant Carnegie Library building at Ninth and Vermont streets.
"We're proposing to build it in the style of our time," said David Dunfield, an architect with Lawrence-based GLPM Architects.
The project would add about 1,600 square feet onto the 10,000-square-foot building. The new space would house an elevator, stairway and handicap-accessible rest rooms that are required under the Americans with Disabilities Act before the building can be occupied again.
The addition - which would include two floors - would be built on a portion of the existing city parking lot that is north of the building. Dunfield estimated about 10 spaces in the parking lot would be lost.
The new construction largely would have a glass front, which is in contrast to the traditional architecture on the original Carnegie Library, which was built in 1904. Dunfield said his firm was recommending a more modern look, in part, because the building already had its style changed once before. The building was added onto in 1937 and used a less ornate style than that of the original 1904 building.
The addition would be connecting onto the 1937 addition, but Dunfield said he hadn't found community support to build the addition in that Depression-era style.
Dunfield said he has had positive discussions with city and state historic preservation officials, who must review plans because the property is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The project, which will include some general renovation work on the existing building, is expected to cost about $700,000. Work could begin this summer and be completed in early 2007. Commissioners will have to give final approval to the project at a later date.
City commissioners did not settle on any future use for the building. Commissioners formally received two proposals for the building: one from the city's Parks and Recreation Department to use the building as a new community center for classroom and meeting space, and another from the Lawrence-based Americana Music Academy, which wants to turn the building into a music and cultural center.
- Lawrence Carnegie Library expansion (pdf)
- 6News video: Commissioners look to future of Carnegie Library
- 6News video: City Commission plans to fill vacant Carnegie library (02-06-06)
- Carnegie Library's future to be discussed (02-06-06)
- Two plans compete for use of Carnegie Library (01-26-06)
- New proposals to be taken for library building (10-19-05)
Several members of the public spoke in favor of the Americana proposal, saying the nonprofit organization had outgrown its current space and could create a unique destination for downtown. Commissioners agreed to discuss the two proposals at a March 9 study session.
Bert Nash to provide case workers for homeless
City commissioners Tuesday night selected the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center to provide case management services for the homeless. The new $160,000 contract will allow the center to hire case mangers who will be stationed at ECKAN, the Lawrence Community Shelter, the Salvation Army and the Bert Nash offices to provide services.
Benefit district approved to fund road project
On a 4-1 vote commissioners gave approval to create a benefit district to fund a road project that would connect Stoneridge Drive to Sixth Street in northwest Lawrence.
The extension was requested by developers in the area, who would pay $600,000 of the costs of the project, while the city would pay $50,000 of the cost. But the city will finance the entire portion of the project and be repaid through special assessments on future property tax bills.
Citing debt concerns and the need to do better long-range planning, commissioners said they wanted to review the longtime policy of letting developers use the city's financing authority for road projects. City Commissioner Mike Rundle voted against the request. He said he wanted to put an end to the practice now.