Friday, January 9, 2015

Construction of New City Library Moving Forward with Community Survey

Current Apalachicola Municipal Library

The Apalachicola Board of City Commissioners moved the reality of constructing a new larger building to house its operation of the municipal library a step closer at their monthly meeting held Tuesday, Jan. 6, inside the Battery Park Community Center.

City administrator Betty Webb speaking on behalf of the Library Board in her monthly report before the city commission, recommended the selection of Warren Emo from the pool of existing city architects to provide design services for the construction of a 3,200 square foot building. Commissioners agreed and on a motion made by Commissioner Brenda Ash voted unanimously to assign the work to Emo under a special project task order.

Marker on current Municipal Library

The new library will be constructed on the vacant property at the Southeast corner of 12th and U.S. Hwy 98 that’s adjacent to the Historic Chapman School building. The property was deeded to the city by the Franklin County School Board a couple of months ago at the behest of Susan Buzzett-Clementson, Chair of the Apalachicola Municipal Library Board for the specific purpose of building a library.

The construction of a new building to house the library at that site came into play after city officials and members of the Library Board failed to receive a consensus from the Franklin County Board of County Commissioners to enter into a long-term lease agreement with the City of Apalachicola to move its library services into the old Chapman School.

Franklin County is the owner of the building and the city proposed to renovate and adapt the historic structure for use as a municipal library using a $497K grant received by the city from the Florida Department of State, Division of Library and Information Services at the end of the 2014 State Legislature session.

Webb also sought and received approval from the city commission to take $200K from the Key Estate to add toward the construction project to increase available construction funds to $697K.

The Late Margaret Key, a former Library Board member had directed in her will that upon the sale of her estate the proceeds be given to the City of Apalachicola for specific use by the Municipal Library.

Buzzett-Clementson along with Apalachicola Municipal Librarian Caty Greene also appeared before the board and presented the commissioners with a copy of the attached community assessment survey for their review.

“We wanted to make sure the library is what the community wants it to be... so we created a community assessment survey to be broadcasted far and wide in every direction we can think of”, said Greene.

According the Buzzett-Clementson copies of the survey will be made available for pickup at the Municipal Library, the Apalachicola Chamber of Commerce office, the ABC School, and out at the Johnson Complex.  The community will be given about a month to complete and return the form before the Library Board schedule meetings to present the results of the survey.