Plans for a new building for the library branch in Vandalia are underway by the Mexico-Audrain Library District.
The site of the former Tri-County Building Supply company is currently under consideration by the board.
The site at 312 S. Main Street is currently undergoing a phase one environmental study and test for asbestos, conducted by Terracon Consulting, Inc. of Columbia.
If the initial testing shows the building and land to be acceptable for new construction, the library board of directors plans to close on the land purchase by the end of next month. The site is owned by the Central Bank of Audrain County. The cost for the site is $40,000.
“We are pleased to bring a new facility to Vandalia,” Aggie Deimeke, acting board president, said. “The building planned for the center of town will greatly improve access and service to the patrons.”
The library currently occupies a building owned by the City of Vandalia. The building has been deemed inadequate by the library board.
Board members considered several locations in Vandalia before approaching the Central Bank about the Main Street property. The new library site will include a building, book drop, and patron and staff parking. The area behind the new building will be unused at this time.
The size of the library will depend on the funding available and the needs of the community. The American Library Association has determined the appropriate square footage needed for public libraries, based on an area’s population.
“We will acknowledge the recommendation of the ALA, while also adding space needed to meet the Americans With Disabilities Act requirements,” Kathy Kephart, library district director, said. “The new library might not be quite as large as the present one, but the space will be used much more effectively.”
Proposals for site preparation, including removal of materials on the lot and the existing structures, will be accepted by the board’s building committee following the signing of the purchase agreement.
No time frame has been announced for the construction of the library at this time. The building project will be financed through tax monies and donations.
Any group or individual wanting to donate, or patrons with suggestions about the needs in the library, should contact Kephart at the library in Mexico at 573-581-4939 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.