Members of the Kodiak city council reacted favorably to plans for a new $14 million public library. The council is expected to vote tonight on a resolution to ask the state for $7 million in funding. Boosters of the new library told that the council at Tuesday’s work session that the city’s share would be another $7 million and they hope to have the new library open by the end of 2013. KMXT’s Jacob Resneck was there and filed this report.
— (library pkg 3:45 "Volunteers from … the project. I’m Jacob Resneck.")
Volunteers from the Kodiak Public Library Association and its paid consultants unveiled plans Tuesday for a 17,000-square-foot library they’d like to see built off Egan Way near Kodiak’s high school. The existing library is 9,800 square feet and was completed in 1968 over the site of a structure damaged by 1964 tsunami.
Kodiak City Council members asked questions but no skepticism was expressed toward the project. Councilman Tom Walters, who led the meeting in the absence of Mayor Carolyn Floyd, praised the library association’s initiative in bringing the project forward.
The new library would have more emphasis on open areas designated for children, youth and adults respectively. The plan calls for nearly five times as much meeting space over the present building.
Architect Paul Voelckers who has helped prepare preliminary sketches of a new facility says libraries are seeing more use than ever.
The city of Kodiak is expected to be one of four Alaska communities that will ask Juneau for a total of $16.7. The council was told that the political climate in the state is favorable toward libraries noting that $13.3 million was approved for new buildings and expansions in six communities.
Two separate sketches were presented, one with a sloped roof, the other with a flat design. Kodiak Public Library Association vice chair Erin Harrington said they wanted to give the council options.
At tonight’s meeting the city council will vote on a resolution to support a grant application toward $7 million in state funding. There has been no official funding commitment by the city but city councilors present expressed their enthusiasm for the plan. Here’s city councilwoman Pat Branson.
For the $14 million project to go forward the city and state would each need to contribute $7 million. The city council was also told there’s also about $1.5 million in potential grants available from private foundations. The Rasmussen Foundation has already provided about $50,000 in professional services. An additional $20,000 has already been spent by the Kodiak Public Library Association to lay the groundwork for the library proposal.
The association also pledged to lead fundraising efforts to minimize the amount of local tax dollars going toward the project
I’m Jacob Resneck