Public library finds new home

Published 10:16 pm Wednesday, May 13, 2009

With the announcement of the Troy Public Library’s new home, the project has passed a major milestone.

“Knowing where we’re going to actually put it, we can move forward with designing something,” said Library Director William White.

“We needed an area that it will be placed before we did anything.”

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The announcement became official Tuesday night, when the Troy City Council declared the building will one day be housed on the property where the former Troy High School once stood on Elm Street.

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said there is no timeframe on the project’s completion, but work with architects will begin immediately.

Discussion over where to put a new library has been something taking place for years.

With desires to keep the library close to the heart of downtown Troy, seeking a location was a key step in completion.

Lunsford said appraisals were done on property on the corner of North Three Notch Street and College Street, but the negotiations were not successful to move there.

“There was more than one property owner there. We had gotten appraisals and presented them to respective property owners,” Lunsford said.

“Some were reasonable and some were unreasonable. We could never get a handle of what it would cost to get that site.”

So, the council decided to defer the process no more, since it already owns the Elm Street property.

“It got to a point where the council said ‘If we’re going to move forward with a library, we can’t get plans until we get a site,’” Lunsford said.

Neither Lunsford nor White have any opposition to the new site.

“We own this site. It’s a good site,” Lunsford said.

Once the planning begins, White said he is unsure what designs will look like, but does know it will give the library needed space.

“Our new facility will allow us to expand the collections,” White said.

White said some of the needs will be more parking, a meeting room and space to offer more programs through the year.

Lunsford also said an area of the library will be dedicated to memorabilia of the old Troy High School.

The Elm Street property has been cleared, and Lunsford said the city will wait until architects determine what else needs to be done to prepare for construction.

Lunsford said it is likely some of the bricks restored from the old Troy High School will be used on the new library.