We are now two years into our “project” and, while it may look like not much has changed, progress has, in fact, been made.
In our last installment we explained that we had interviewed a number of architects and that we had determined that it would be useful to visit properties that they had been involved with. This determination resulted in a group of current and former Board Trustees, as well as Library Director Kristine Lendved, taking a series of daytrips in the early months of 2018. (happily, good weather was with us on travel days!) We visited the Walter E. Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River, WI, the Ely Public Library in Ely, MN and the Evelyn Goldberg Briggs Memorial Library in Iron River, WI. Each of these libraries was designed by one of the firms we were considering, and we certainly saw a wide variety of styles and economic resources. We also felt that we learned a great deal with each visit and refined our own ideas of what we hoped to offer in a new library building for our own community.
We were also introduced to a concept we had not previously considered: Design/Build. We were first approached by a construction management firm that has done other work in the area and were impressed by the services they would offer. We were subsequently contacted by another construction management firm, Keller Builds, which is located in Wisconsin’s Fox Valley. After several meetings with both construction management firms we opted to go with Keller Builds for several reasons, the most significant being that they had an on-staff architect, which seemed like the best fit for us. We have had, at the time of this writing, three meetings with Keller personnel. In the first we spent…hours…discussing our existing services and the ones we hope to offer. From this, the Keller architect assembled a “needs assessment” document, identifying space sizes for what we had identified as our space needs. We carefully reviewed this document and made notes and suggested changes and went over it all again with Keller personnel. They supplied us with an updated space needs calculation.
The committee engaged with this process is composed of current and former Library Board Trustees, library staff and representatives from the Cable Natural History Museum and the Towns of Cable and Namakagon.
While there are still issues to iron out, having, largely, to do with State and County regulations pertaining to building across property boundaries, we do hope, very much, to have an initial drawing and potential library lay-out in the next month to six weeks at which time we hope to engage with our community on the plan and the project. We very much want for this to be a place that everyone will be pleased with and proud of.
We wish to assure anyone who may be worried about it that our plans VERY MUCH include keeping our iconic and beloved log cabin as a working and essential part of the library! We are also working on re-orienting the entryway to the new building so that it will face north, which, we hope very much, will take some of the pressure off an extremely busy section of County M! We also wish to state that we fully intend to work together with the Cable Natural History Museum to retain and enhance the “campus” area that we will share.
In the meantime, we continue to utilize the property. The Katie Flowers Endowment kept The Book House (as it is called) open every Saturday from Memorial Day weekend until Fall Fest weekend, with a few extra days in between, including the Annual Fourth of July Book Sale.
The library used the property to offer a Summer Reading Carnival which was a fun day of interactive activities and performance. Kenton Whitman and his family taught kids how to weave cord into a bracelet…that could easily be unwound if you found yourself in sudden need of a rope! We set-up some old-fashioned games for kids to play…like hop-scotch and a life-sized tic tac toe board painted onto the lawn. The day wrapped up with a puppet theater performance by Pam Cocoran, a part-time resident of Clam Lake who makes delightful felted wool puppets.
Although we have not yet kicked off a capital campaign in support of our building project, we have received funds which we’ve been directed to add to that fund. If you do have an interest in offering your financial support to this project, you are encouraged to contact Library Director Kristine Lendved who would share the information with the Library Board and would be happy to meet with you to discuss your support and recognition.
As we stated last year, we are always happy to hear from any of our patrons regarding the types of services and features you’d like to see offered by the library! We are YOUR Forest Lodge Library and we are here for YOU.