Sunday, January 2, 2011
Wisconsin State Journal Editorial Board Gives Madison Central Library Renovation a Big Thumbs Up
Excerpt: Madison should be proud that its run-down and inefficient Downtown library is going to be remade with concern for cost in mind. Building from scratch — either on the existing site or along West Washington Avenue — would have cost millions more.
In addition, city officials expect to save money by building now because of low construction prices related to the challenging economy. Federal tax credits and private fundraising will help, too.
In the end, city taxpayers will cover about $17 million of the cost through city borrowing.
The stylish new library will feature a glass atrium, taller ceilings and many more windows. It will have just as much function and more space than the more expensive West Washington option offered.
Libraries are evolving to include more technology and meeting space with fewer stacks of books. The new Downtown library will have shorter shelves, an expanded children’s section, more computer stations and a 250-seat public conference room.
The design is flexible and forward looking. The public should get behind this reasonable and exciting plan, with city officials sticking to their cost estimate and a late 2013 opening.
Posted by Retiring Guy at 8:47 AM