FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – Changes may be coming to your local library branch.
The Allen County Public Library Board met in special session Thursday afternoon to formally receive recommendations from the Bostwick Design Partnership regarding upgrades to CPRA facilities.
The meeting was open to the public and can be viewed later on CPRA’s YouTube channel. The board first received initial options and recommendations from the Bostwick Design Partnership on January 5, 2022.
The following text was issued by the CPRA:
Over the following months, CPRA solicited feedback on the options from the community and library staff through surveys, five open houses held at CPRA branches, two live sessions and several board meetings. “From the start, we emphasized that we wanted this to be a transparent and inclusive process. People in our community love their library and have very strong ideas about how it should work and what resources should be available. We hope our staff and customers will see that we have taken their feedback and concerns to heart in developing the plan that was presented today,” said Susan Baier, CPRA’s Executive Director.
Previous plans presented in January called for the closure of the Shawnee branch. The updated recommendations call for 15 branches across the county, including a new Shawnee branch and a new location in the Huntertown area.
“It is very important to us as a library system to provide equitable service throughout Allen County. What we heard very clearly from those who use the Shawnee branch is that removing this location would have a negative effect on an area that relies heavily on the resources provided by the library,” Baier said. The board voted unanimously to accept the plan, which has a cost range of $112 million to $118 million. The amount does not include the real estate costs associated with the project.
The next steps in the facilities master plan include two preliminary determination public hearings, Thursday, April 21 and April 28, both at 3 p.m. The public can attend in person at the Main Library or watch a live stream on You Tube. ACPL bond consultants will give a presentation on the financial aspects of the project. The public will also have the opportunity to comment on the project.
At the end of the second hearing on April 28, the Board will consider passing a Preliminary Determination Resolution that declares the need for the project and the issuance of bonds and approves the form of the local public question for the project to appear on the ballot if a referendum is called.
In 2021, CPRA entered into an agreement with the Bostwick Design Partnership to guide the library and community through the facilities masterplan process. Bostwick team members are experts in the areas of library plan development; facility assessments;
property assessment and virtual and in-person engagement.
Some of the key questions CPRA sought to answer during the process were:
What services does CPRA not currently offer that you think we should change and how might our facilities need to change to offer these services?
Can our current facilities meet the needs of our community? Should we have additional branches? Should some of our existing branches be bigger?
What steps should CPRA take with its facilities to meet the needs of the community?
For more information on the facilities master plan, click here.