The new Ellsworth Public Library project dates back to 2012 when the Village of Ellsworth Board voted to approve the formation of a Building/Space Committee charged with investigating space options available to the library and the community. Based on our population, the number of cardholders, and the size of our media collection, to adequately serve the needs of our community the recommended square footage of our library should be approximately 16,000. Our current library space is undersized at just 2,880 square feet.
The committee considered many options including a new building, an expansion/renovation of the existing library, and relocation to existing vacant buildings. Due to considerations such as cost, downtown location, and the needs of our community, the committee made the recommendation to the Village Board to pursue the newly vacant BMO Harris Bank building at 388 W Main Street. The BMO Harris Bank building plan offered the most cost-effective and flexible solution.
Some of the features of the new library will include:
- Expanded square footage with private spaces for studying, job coaches, therapists, social service visits, and tutoring.
- A large meeting room for civic/community functions.
- Improved handicapped accessibility.
- Separate, welcoming spaces for differing needs and ages.
- The space for onsite educational programs for all ages.
- A wider variety and number of books, DVDs, CDs available, plus an expanded list of unconventional items to check-out.
- A larger display space to feature local artistic talent.
- The projected cost of this project is $2,000,000. The Village of Ellsworth purchased the building using $325,000 from library funds and has committed to borrowing $500,000. The remainder of the funds are being secured from community fundraising and grants.
The projected completion is September 2022.