Library board votes to spend more, cut less forest for new branch

The animated image alternates between options for the new library branch with (1) a single wing of surface parking to the west and a parking garage under the building and (2) two wings of surface parking, one to the west and one to the east. Drawings, which were included in the library board’s meeting information packet, are by Matheu Architects.

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.

It was one of the factors that led board members to support spending about $900,000 more—$12.1 million compared to $11.2 million—for the design with a parking garage. Continue reading “Library board votes to spend more, cut less forest for new branch”