Mt. Sterling Moving Closer to New Library

By Jeremy Coumbes on September 10, 2019 at 11:33am

A library in West Central Illinois is taking a big step closer toward a new facility.

The Brown County Public Library, located in Mt. Sterling has purchased land behind the post office near the corner of Cross and South Streets, for a new building to be built.

The Library Board has been working toward building a new facility for several years now and are glad to be moving to the next phase. Library Director Richard Young explained where they currently are in the process.

“We are in the process right now where we have put in area newspapers, soliciting for Requests for Qualification documents from design firms, and those are due the 16th of September. Once those are submitted, the board will have to review them, interview the design firm and negotiate pricing. At that point we will probably sign a contract with the design firm, and once that happens the board will move forward with seeking more funding because by then we will have some 3-D designs and floor plans. Things like that will make it easier to market. People have asked about it since we bought the property and we have made no bones about it that we want to build and do it with private funding.”

The project is to be funded solely by private donations. Young said that once a design is approved, the library will begin a capitol campaign for raising the remainder of the funds needed to get construction underway.

“We really do not have a hard number, we know approximately how much per square foot the building should cost. We are looking at a ten to eleven thousand square foot building, and right now we are at three thousand square feet, so it will at least triple our size. And we have a lot that is much more conducive to that now. It will have off street parking and a drive up book drop off.”

Young said that they hope to have a design firm and initial design by December, at which point the fundraising can commence. Young said that even though the exact cost of the project is still unknown, the board estimates they have roughly one fourth of the funding needed for the project.

Young said he was grateful to the library staff who have worked hard to increase traffic into the library and to those who have already donated to the cause, including private donations and a small number of memorial bequests.

The Board hopes to announce the start of the “With You” capitol campaign sometime early next year.