On Tuesday night, the board of the Monroe County Public Library voted unanimously in favor of a design for its planned new branch that incorporates a parking garage under the 21,000 square-foot building, instead of relying on a second wing of surface lot parking.
The branch will include a total of about 105 parking spaces.
The option with the parking garage means a smaller footprint for the new construction. Architect Christine Matheu’s drawings show it wedged into the southwest corner of the forested site near Batchelor Middle School just southwest of Bloomington.
The garage option means that fewer trees in the forested area will need to be cut down to allow the new library branch to be built. The area was planted with tree seedlings by school kids over the first decade of the millennium.
Three decades later, the same invention that discourages motorists from making greedy use of public space made possible the release of “Cool Hand Luke.” The film starred Paul Newman as the title character, who was sentenced to two years in prison—for lopping the heads off some parking meters.
In 2017, Bloomington began the process of annexing area into the city that would have increased the land area of the city by about 60 percent.
Later that year, the state’s General Assembly built into the budget bill a change to annexation law that effectively singled out Bloomington and paused any annexation plans for five years.
Bloomington filed a lawsuit, contending that the General Assembly violated two different parts of the state’s constitution: One limiting bills to single topics and another prohibiting special legislation.