The City of Vandalia met Thursday, September 6, to decide on a building plan for its new shared YMCA and public library building that’s currently in the works.
With a set budget of $1.5 million, plans for the city’s new addition moved forward to start the process for funding opportunities in the form of a USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Loan, and the Neighborhood Assistance Program, which is due in October.
Several plans were viewed during the meeting, of which allocated for an approximate 15,000-square foot building to replace the existing 4,000-square-foot public library.
“The building has to add to the character of downtown,” City Administrator Alan Winders said during the meeting.
Plans included two future expansion sites for a gymnasium and a possible city hall, both calling for 5,000 square feet of space to be constructed much farther down the line.
“I would like us to land on a drawing that we have a reasonable expectation will be the final drawing,” Winders said. “That’s what I need to move this forward.”
A “rectilinear” building was decided upon that placed the library portion of the building at the corner of South Main Street and West Olive Street facing east. The YMCA, within the same structure, would be directly north of the library section with its outside edges at the corner of West Park Street and South Main Street facing east. The plan currently keeps the location of the Veterans Memorial in tact.
Keeping the memorial’s location was of major concern during the presentation. Alternatives were presented but rely on approval from the local VFW Post before moving forward.
One alternative was moving the memorial into a hallway splitting the YMCA and library portions of the building and naming the area “Memorial Hall.” It was thought during the meeting that this move would keep the bricks of the memorial out of destructive weather, therefore, adding to the longevity of the memorial, while placing the objects in the immediate vicinity of patrons entering the building.
Cons of this idea included the accessibility of the memorial since business hours would limit the time persons could view the memorial. Fervently voiced was the general feeling of resident veterans and the VFW Post that established the memorial, which would hold the discretion over the possible move.
Two contractors have been confirmed to comfortably build the structure for a cost of $100 per square foot, which makes paying prevailing wage a possibility, with layout specifics able to change as required by the budget.