By Kim Blaha | SPL Executive Director
The Board of Trustees and I have been planning for our new library building. It has been a long, slow process so far, but we are making progress. The shortest amount of time after we acquire the property and approve architectural drawings to moving into the new building is 3 years if everything goes smoothly. Here are some things that have been or need to be done before we can start building.
Obtain a building site: Almost completed
The Town of Syracuse has offered us the property at 705 N. Dolan Drive as the site for our new library building. A deed has been drawn up by the Town Attorney, Jay Rigdon, and is in the process of revision, according to the recommendation of the Library’s Attorney, Steve Snyder.
Environmental Site Assessment Studies, Phase I & II: Done
Possible site clean-up: In process
Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG) has provided us a grant to have two Environmental Site Assessment studies completed.
Phase I, completed in February, involved research into the history of the property to determine the likelihood of soil and water contamination at the site.
According to the report, “Past property uses included the Syracuse Fire Department, municipal water pump house, and the municipal wastewater treatment plant and lagoons. Operational equipment associated with these uses could indicate the ‘likely presence of hazardous substances or petroleum products’ as noted in the standard.”
Phase II was completed in July. This study included soil boring and groundwater sampling. The report noted that some elevated levels of arsenic and lead in the groundwater were found, but nothing so drastic as to require action. There is a suspected underground storage tank on the property that will have to be removed if it is determined to be present. We are working with MACOG to see if there is any more funding for that process.
The next steps will be choosing an architect and finding the funding for construction. We have been working with Arkos Design, who did our feasibility study, and they have provided some rudimentary drawings of possible building design and placements on the property.
We will be working with Baker Tilly for building project funding advice and searching for grants and donations. After we move to the new building, we will sell the old library building, and use the funds to pay down the debt.
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