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Building committee starts piecing together new library

By Crystal Burns

Building a library is a lot like putting together a puzzle.

Stakeholders will give their “wish list” to the architect, and the architect will work with them to prioritize needs and wants until each piece is designated and ready for placement.

Anders Dahlgren, a world renowned library consultant, and Jev Vaughn, of Vaughn Associates Architects, Inc., met with Gibson County Memorial Library building committee and Foundation members Wednesday morning to begin discussions on a new library.

“We may express some things in the program that we can’t end up doing,” Dahlgren explained. “The final results will be close to the original needs assessment.”

In his needs assessment, Dahlgren found that the library needs a gross area of 20,876 sq. ft. The current library is 5,200 sq. ft.

With the parking lot and section of street that the City of Trenton has given to the library for expansion purposes, the site is roughly 23,000 sq. ft.

Vaughn said it makes for “a lot of building on these two lots.” Some of the questions he’ll help the committee answer throughout the planning process is whether to incorporate the existing building into the design, if a single level or two-story building better serves the community, and if construction should be taken in two phases to keep the current library open while the new library is being built.

“Nothing is solved today,” Vaughn said.

The next step is for Vaughn to diagram spaces on paper and talk with the committee and library staff about how they want people to move through the space.

“Our goal is to make this a fun journey, a fun experience,” he said. “The point of beginning will change a lot. We’ll pull it apart and start to put it back together again.”

The Gibson County Memorial Library Foundation is working to raise the money for a new library that better serves the needs of its large service area, which includes the north end of the county.

Vaughn explained that his services are not time sensitive, and architects can pause any time the group needs to raise more funding. There is currently about $18,000 in the Foundation bank account, and the group partnered with Tyson Foods Friday to sell chicken quarters with all proceeds benefitting the Foundation.

The library is located at 303 S. High St. in Trenton.

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