Sunday, August 1, 2004

Boone Co. still searching for library site

By Brenna R. Kelly
Enquirer staff writer

BURLINGTON - The Boone County Library still hasn't found a site for a new library - but it is still looking.

"I don't think we are any closer to any kind of decision," said Library Director Cindy Brown.

For about six months, the library and the Boone County Cooperative Extension Service have been discussing building the new library at Ky. 18 and Camp Ernst Road, on the Extension Service's 15-acre campus.

But the library is also "considering other sites that could meet our needs in the general vicinity," Brown said.

The Extension District has not decided whether it wants to sell its land or keep it for future expansion. The district also is trying to decide whether to build a new building for the extension service or renovate its existing building.

The new library is needed because the Lents Branch, off Ky. 237 in Hebron, has become overcrowded, Brown said.

The branch, which opened in 1989, is 6,000 square feet, while a new branch would need to be at least 30,000 square feet to serve the growing population, Brown said.

The library has not decided if the Lents branch would remain open after the new branch is built.

The library's search came at the same time the Cooperative Extension District was creating a master plan for its site. That study was prompted by the widening of Ky. 237, which will eliminate the site's current access on Ky. 18 and 237.

Boone County Judge-executive Gary Moore encouraged the groups to work together in hopes of saving taxpayer money.

County Administrator Jim Parsons, who is involved in the discussions, said taxpayers could benefit if the library and extension district could share facilities.

"For instance, if the library has a very large meeting facility there may not be a need for us, the extension district, to build one," Parsons said. Extension board member Lynn Sutter, said she and Brown will work together to create a presentation about the potential benefits of sharing space.

"They're in essence asking us to sell them a piece of property that really isn't out there for sale," Sutter told the extension board, "so we need some reasons to do that."


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