Marion library leaders plan to move quickly on new building

Project that has been years in the making appears to finally be on track


MARION — After years of starts and stops, Marion Public Library leaders expect to move quickly on preparation for its new $18 million building in the coming months now that a new site has been selected.

Earlier this week, the library’s board of trustees finally settled on a location — a block of land between the existing facility at 1095 Sixth Ave. and Marion City Hall. That lot, known as the Katz lot, was previously donated to the city for library use and includes a parking lot and two historic brick houses that will be moved.

“We’ve already established ourselves as a part of this community in this neighborhood and this district,” said Hollie Trenary, library director. “ … We have a high traffic count that comes through our doors every day. And I am of the belief that that traffic count contributes to uptown.”

Although there’s never been a study done on how library traffic affects local businesses, Uptown Marion Director Brooke Prouty said the library is an anchor in the area and is “unarguably one of the top trip generators in our district.”

City and library leaders will soon put together a steering committee, and during the August library board meeting Trenary hopes to finalize the contract for Milwaukee-based Engberg Anderson Architects, a company that previously worked with the library. She also hopes to put out a request for qualifications from contractors by mid-August and select one sometime in September.

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