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Libraries good for community … and construction

By Ann Knoedler

Libraries have power.

Jack Russell Memorial Library – New Construction (35,500 sq. ft.), 2-acre library-owned site at the mill pond, Hartford, Washington County

New Building for Necedah Community-Siegler Memorial Library (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funds), 217 Oak Grove Drive, Necedah, Juneau County

Addition and Remodel of the Thorp Public Library and Public Works Building (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funds), Thorp, Clark County

Public Library Project, corner of Lacy Road and Research Park Drive adjacent to the city hall, Fitchburg, Dane County

Expansion of Lake Delton/Wisconsin Dells Area Public Library (Kilbourn Public Library), 620 Elm St., Wisconsin Dells, Columbia County

Remodel and Renovate Church into Library/Town Hall, Westboro, Taylor County

Last month when the town of Minocqua held a groundbreaking ceremony for a public library expansion project, the mayor was quoted as saying: “When you’re trying to attract businesses or jobs to a community, one of the first questions that a prospective employer is going to ask is about your schools, questions about your health care system, and about your library.”

The founding fathers and mothers of our various communities understood the importance of libraries and made sure to establish them right along with schools, banks and businesses.

Here’s a glance statewide at the communities that, in 2010, were able to move forward with their library construction projects and the wide range of architects and general contractors employed to give them shape.

Southeastern Wisconsin

• The city of Hartford in Washington County received bids in March and July for its new Jack Russell Memorial Library. The architect is Plunkett Raysich Architects LLP, Milwaukee, and the construction manager is J.P. Cullen & Sons Inc., Brookfield.

Central Wisconsin

• The village of Necedah in Juneau County opened bids in April for a new Necedah Community-Siegler Memorial Library. Hoffman LLC, Appleton, is the architect and construction manager.

• The city of Thorp in Clark County opened bids in June to expand and remodel its public library. Project architect is Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc., Chippewa Falls, and the contractor is Milcon Inc., North Branch, Minn.

Southwestern Wisconsin

• The city of Fitchburg in Dane County received bids in June for the construction of a new public library. It was designed by Engberg Anderson Design Partnership Inc., Milwaukee, and the construction manager is M.A. Mortenson Co., Brookfield.

• The village of Lake Delton in Columbia County received bids in July and September to add to and remodel the Kilbourn Public Library, which serves the village of Lake Delton and the city of Wisconsin Dells. Project architect is MSA Professional Services and the construction manager is Kraemer Brothers LLC, Plain.

Northern Wisconsin

• The town of Westboro in Taylor County awarded a contract in July to Happy Hammer Construction, Westboro, to remodel and renovate a former church for a combination library and town hall facility. The project architect is Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc., Appleton.

• And in Minocqua (Oneida County), Miron Construction, Neenah, was hired to construct the Minocqua Public Library expansion project. Zimmerman Architectural Studios, Milwaukee, designed it.

Libraries nationwide are reporting increased patronage, some of which they attribute to the down economy. The need for them is obviously here to stay.

Ann Knoedler is the lead data reporter at The Daily Reporter. She can be reached at (414) 225-1822.

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