Thursday, October 16, 2008

Site Option Selected for Downtown, Joint Use Facility Priority for Secondary Site

As of last night's meeting of the Board of Trustees, we have a site option for the expansion of the downtown building selected! A unanimous vote of the five Trustees present made Site Option 10 the winner!
This option retains nearly all of the existing building, enveloping parts of it within the expansion area to optimize its functionality as a library space.

In order to reach the 70,000 square foot facility in the downtown with all of the services recommended by the Site Feasibility Committee to be located at the downtown site, a parking variance from the Village of Plainfield will be needed. Using the 1 parking space per 400 square feet required by the Village ordinance for libraries, 155 parking spaces are needed. However, the inclusion of the auditorium in the proposed expansion makes the building "mixed use" and adds one space per 5 seats in the auditorium to the requirement, for a total of 215 parking spaces. The plan selected provides for 160 parking spaces, exceeding the spaces needed under the library parking requirement, but under the mixed use requirement. One strong argument for the variance is the anticipated use of the auditorium at times when the library is not open to the public, namely Friday and Saturday evenings. With the Village, Park District, and Library's shared goal of bringing more cultural amenities into Plainfield, we are confident that a satisfactory solution for parking can be negotiated.

For the secondary location, discussion continues with the Plainfield Township Park District on a joint use facility. Macom Corporation is working closely with staff form the library and park districts on two possible locations in north Plainfield. The Library Board has chosen to focus on these joint use facility sites rather than a stand-alone branch site. The proposed branch would be approximately 30,000 square feet with full library services, including meeting and program space, regardless of which location is selected.

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