When it comes to the city’s $18 million expansion of the Lawrence Public Library, everything from the lack of a back door to the appearance of the backside of a parking garage are starting to create questions with some neighbors.
The city and library leaders will hold a public meeting at 2 p.m. Sunday at the library to hear comments about how the library project should be designed.
“We want to hear from the public,” said Bruce Flanders, director of the library. “The site seems to dictate where the general location of the parking garage will be, but in terms of the design of the library itself, that’s still kind of an open book. There’s a lot of possibility for valid input.”
The meeting was put together after several members of the Old West Lawrence Neighborhood Association began asking questions about some conceptual plans for the building.
Kirk McClure, a West Lawrence neighborhood member, said he had heard concerns that the new library would have an entrance only on the Vermont Street side. That would make it less convenient for Old West Lawrence residents to walk to the library. He also said there were concerns that the parking garage for the project may be taller than many neighbors expected.
Flanders said the garage is scheduled to be three stories tall, and would grow to four if city commissioners decide to add more parking. McClure said neighbors wanted to ensure the garage doesn’t end up looking like a “four-story wall.”
Flanders said architects and library leaders are working to set up other meeting dates to gather input. He said plans likely won’t be presented to the Library Board for approval until September. Any plans also would have to be approved by the City Commission.