Interest renewed in reviving Monett library construction

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Check with architect shows price now around $3 million

Hopes have been revived for movement on building a new branch library in Monett.

Gina Milburn, library director, reported an anonymous donor asked about a possible donation to move plans for a new Monett branch forward.

In the planning stages for more than a decade, the Monett branch plans raised approximately $750,000 in donations and pledges, approximately half of the projected cost. Land was donated by the Witt Family Trust for a branch on Old Airport Road, which still bears a sign announcing the future site.

The potential donor asked for updated information on the cost of the project. Milburn went back to architect Richard Werner for current costs for new construction and to renovate the present library building at Sixth and Bond into sole use as the regional office.

Milburn reported Werner figured a 13,520-square-foot new building plus exterior parking would cost $189.39 per square foot, for a total of $2,560,491, not counting furnishings. In 2008 Werner estimated construction at $120 a square foot, putting the cost at $1.6 million. Moreover, renovating the present 6,250-square-foot building at $50 to $60 a square foot, or from $312,500 to $375,000.

Both estimates placed the total project at around $3 million. The information was forwarded to the potential donor.

Milburn said she was only partially surprised by the change in cost estimate.

“We have to pay prevailing wage, so I wasn’t totally surprised by the cost,” she said.

The library has been working with an intermediary with the Monett Community Foundation with the potential donor. With no idea who the donor is, Milburn said there is uncertainty that the donor will even be open to the location of having the main branch in the vicinity of the high school.

“There’s hope in my heart,” Milburn said. “A new library would be so wonderful for the community, to add to the YMCA, the Monett museum and the events pavilion. We’re hoping that whatever this donation may be, it can spur new interest and we’ll be able to get this project going.”

Pledges of support and donations for the project are still welcome. Inquiries may be made to Milburn at the branch office or by calling 417-235-6646.

In a related action during an audit for the present year, Kurt Krueger with the CPA Group advised checking with EFCO Corporation to confirm the industry would still honor its $150,000 pledge for the new library, since the company has been sold to Apogee.

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