Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


City hopes to start library by mid-2011

Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, voiced concerns at the Wednesday meeting about the star date for construction on the library project. Library employees said they hope to begin at the end of next summer.[/media-credit]

The city’s plan to renovate the Central Library dominated the overview of Mayor Dave Cieslewicz’s capital budget at a Board of Estimates meeting Wednesday night.

Much of the concern surrounding the proposed library renovations involved the deadlines set by the library’s board, the monetary burden placed on the city, as well as the plans for the renovations themselves, which are still vague.

Responding to concerns raised by Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, regarding an “optimistic” estimate of the library’s groundbreaking, Library Director Barbara Dimmick said she hoped construction will begin by the end of next summer.


Prior to this, there will be a public meeting to discuss concerns over the new library on Sept. 28, leading in to a first look at the new Central Library’s schematics by the last week in October.

Nov. 4 is the deadline for the final schematic design.

Dimmick said it seems unlikely at this point the $8 million in private funding expected for the Central Library will be available by the time construction begins on the library.

However, Cieslewicz agreed the city would be responsible for bearing the burden until such time as the private money can be procured.

Although the funds may not be immediately available, both Cieslewicz and Dimick said they felt confident they will eventually be raised.

Ald. Tim Bruer, District 15, asked Dimmick whether the proposed project is being scaled back, and, along the same lines, if the current Central Library is being renovated or rebuilt.

The plan for the new library is still in the conceptual stage, so there were few specific answers to be had regarding these concerns.

Jeanne Hoffman, Madison’s Facilities and Sustainability manager, said details are still being worked out.

“We’re going to do the best we can to get the things we know we need,” Hoffman told the board.

Developers have decided construction will completely gut the current central branch, but have yet to decide if the new structure will have two or three floors.

“Frankly, there’s nothing worth saving on the inside of the building,” Hoffman said. “The inside of the building needs to be completely, utterly redone.”

Dimmick said this will result in better flow throughout the interior, with more open spaces and less wasted space.

Ald. Bridget Maniaci, District 2, continually asked about the private funding promised for the project, and how, if the money isn’t raised in time, this will affect the city and its taxpayers.

“It’s hard to say today where we’re going to be in a couple of months,” Dimmick said. “We’re not really sure how much this is going to cost.”

The Central Library project previously ran into problems when negotiations between Cieslewicz and a developer to construct a new branch on West Washington Avenue failed earlier this year.

The new plan will reconstruct the current branch rather than constructing an entirely new structure.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *