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Published January 19, 2011, 10:03 AM

GF Library Building Committee Recommends to Rebuild On Existing Site

Weighing the pros and cons, the Library's Building Committee voted to recommend to the library board that the current library should be torn down and a new one should be built on the existing site.

The Grand Forks Library Building Committee recommends keeping the facility where it is. Committee members say the current building should be demolished and a new one built in the same spot.

With the lack of parking and no room for expansion, the Grand Forks Library Building Committee decided the old Leevers site is not suitable for the new Library.

"We really tried to make that other site work and there are just too many limitations right now for that. I am hoping that the community will be accepting of this current location and doing a complete demo and reconstruction here," said Wendy Wendt, Executive Director of the library.

After following a City Council recommendation to take a closer look at each site, the committee says staying put would be the best option.

"The new facility location when we saw that we can work from the library lane side, the traffic flows through and the parking is not as confusing as the other option," said Jeff Regimbal, member of the Library Building Committee.

"This location has worked well for many many years and I think it can work for the next 50 as well," said Doug Carpenter, another member of the Building Committee.

The analysis says the current site has the best option for more parking and future expansion. The new building is estimated to cost $20 million, plus costs for additional land.

"We have additional information that we learned today regarding opportunities for financing in a shorter amount of time, thus saving significant dollars on the finance side. Or we also have the issue of the tolerance of the community regarding how much sales tax we are accumulating," said Susan Mickelson, Library Board President.

Next week, the building committee will meet to discuss the final budget and present their recommendations to the library board. The board says their biggest concern is how much the increase in sales tax will be.

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