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Schroon officials consider library move

SCHROONLAKE-The Schroon Lake Public Library is so cramped its board of trustees can't even hold meetings in the space, trustee Ralph Cooke said.

It's with these space constraints in mind that officials are considering moving the library to the former firehouse at 11 Broad St., Supervisor Cathy Moses said.

Town board members and library trustees will hold a public meeting on the issue Thursday, June 16, at 10:30 a.m. at the medical center meeting room behind the town hall. A representative of SD Atelier Architecture will discuss the adequacy of the fire house site, specifically in terms of square footage, Moses said. Sue Davis, an architect from the firm, said she will likely be the representative attending.

"Right now the architect is looking at the footprint to be sure there's enough space to put them in there (the former fire house),"Moses said.

She was unsure of the building's measurements.

Cooke said he thinks locating the library in the fire house represents a doubling of the space currently available.

"We all have our individual opinions, but we're obviously in favor of the expansion of the library," he said. "We like the (fire house) location, of course. It's just half a street from the town hall."

He said there were no downsides to the new space as far as he can see.

Moses said she hopes to pay for the project with federal and state grants, but she didn't want to discuss specifics at this time.

"We're looking for funding," she said. "There's no way we could put this kind of burden on the taxpayers at this point."

While there is no official estimate yet for the cost of converting the space into a library, Moses said it would cost roughly $800,000.

She pointed out that the figure is significantly less than estimated $3 million it would take to build an expansion to the current library space, within the town hall, under a previous plan.

"We're trying to be as frugal as we can here, because the times are difficult," Moses said.

The town purchased the former fire house building on March 4 for $152,858, a figure that includes closing costs, she said. The building was purchased due to its proximity to the town hall. Whether or not the space is used as a library, it will be used as a government office of some kind, according to Moses.

Once she determines what the fire house building will be used for, she will ask SD Atelier Architecture to reconfigure the town hall, she said.

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