MURRAY – The architect for the Calloway County Public Library expansion project presented new options for the site plan this week, asking Board of Trustees members to let him know in the January meeting whether or not they would like to add square footage to the previously approved plans in order to take advantage of the land the board is purchasing next door.
At its November meeting, the board voted to enter into a real estate purchase contract with TMV Holdings, LLC for the property at 706 Main St., tracts 1 and 2, at the purchase price of $275,000. The board had been in negotiations to purchase the property, which is currently home to Southern Family Dental, for several months so it could include the land in its expansion plans. Board President Riley Ramsey said during Tuesday’s meeting that once a closing date is set, he and CCPL Director Mignon Reed would sign the contract.
With the new purchase in mind, Chris Cottongim, president of 5253 Design Group, presented a new proposal for the board to consider.
“What I have to show tonight is what I’m calling the ‘2020 option’ for the library,” Cottongim said. “It’s a different direction based on the fact that we have new options. This property that you’re getting ready to purchase next door opens up a whole other book of options for you. If we had that property originally, more than likely, this design or some version of this design would have come right to the top and been the cream of the milk pan. I’m excited about it; it does a lot of good things for you.”
The library’s existing square footage is 12,047 square feet. The new proposal would add an additional 19,828 feet for a total of 31,875 square feet. The plan also includes 1,886 square feet in exterior covered areas. The front entrance would face Main Street and the addition would extend onto the property at 706 Main St.
Right now, there are 80 existing parking spots, and the new plan would add 26 spots for a total of 116, Cottongim said. Thirty-nine of those spots would be on the east side of the property and the rest would be around the back on the north side of the building.
Cottongim also suggested including an exit onto Olive Street, but Trustee Debbie Bell said she thought that might upset the neighbors. Reed said it might be possible to only use it for special events and programs and keep a closed gate there on an everyday basis.
“I just want to be good to our word; I want to be good neighbors,” Bell said.
The projected construction budget on the existing plan the board approved in February is $6,840,216.75. The projected budget for the new proposal is $7,329,866.75. Cottongim said that if the board likes the new floor plan and thinks they could use the extra square footage, he believes they would be pleased by the end result. However, he said if they like the general idea of the new floor plan but think the $489,650 price increase is too steep, there are ways he could adjust to get the budget back down.
“Here’s how we fix it,” he said. “We could take about 13 feet (of width) out of that lobby … and then we could take about 15 feet out of the children’s activity rooms and the children’s stacks rooms. That will squeeze that building down to … the square footage that meets the prior budget.”
Cottongim suggested that trustees think about the proposal over the holidays and come back ready to make a decision in January. If a final decision is made in January 2021, he estimated construction could be completed in November 2022.
Earlier in the meeting, the board also voted to proceed with the demolition of the house at 709 Olive St., which the library owns. Cottongim said two bids were received for the demolition on Dec. 1. A bid from Youngblood Excavating was $29,750, and a bid from McKinney Construction Company was $14,900. Cottongim said that McKinney Construction Company President William Steele told him the reason the bid was so much lower was because the company has its own certified landfill, and debris would not have to be trucked a long way.
“If we give them a notice to proceed, they’re going to do a little bit of salvage; they want to pull some windows out and some other stuff out of there,” Cottongim said. “Then it’s going to be down and out of there quick. (Steele) thinks it is going to be a week or two-week job, and I’ve given them more than a month. My key thing (is making sure) they don’t get in a hole and bury it, and I’ll talk to him prior to that again. All the foundations need to come out and all the utilities need to come out back to the service point. So I’ll review all that with him and I’ll be down before he gets paid, when he submits the pay application, to review the work.”
Since the plan is for the Olive Street land to become a green space for the library, Trustee Levi Weatherford asked if McKinney Construction would be sowing that land after the demolition.
“We can’t do anything with grass seed or anything (over the winter) because it would be a waste of money,” Cottongim said. “So we’re just going to have a nice dirt patch out there until the spring, and then we can take care of it on our own when it comes time.”
Cottongim recommended entering into a contract with McKinney Construction, which the board unanimously approved. Cottongim said Reed had the contract in her possession, so Ramsey said he would sign it and get it back to him.