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Library plans turn a new page

In the coming year, Appleton Public Library will begin the process of acquiring land needed for a multi-million dollar construction project of a new facility to replace the city’s current library.

The Appleton Common Council approved the $5 million needed to acquire land for the location of the new facility, which is set to be on a bluff overlooking the Fox River in downtown Appleton. Fox Banquets and Trinity Lutheran Church currently stand on the plot the library has hopes of acquiring.

“The city has taken steps on appraisals on both properties.” says City Alderman Curt Konetzke. “Their next step is to accept or request new appraisals.”

Now that the library has Common Council approval to go ahead with acquisition talks, the first months of 2015 will focus on negotiating land prices.

“During the months of January and February, the City of Appleton Common Council will establish negotiating parameters,” says Colleen Rortvedt, Appleton Public Library director. “From here, the City of Appleton and the property owners will determine if they can come to an agreement on acquisition cost of the properties.”

Before further construction actions can take place, the city must approve the negotiated agreement. Konetzke says the whole process can take between six to eight months.

If all goes well, the library will be given the green light to draw up formal architectural designs and hire a contractor.

These new plans will incorporate the library’s goals to offer modern technology needs, more meeting spaces and expand programming space.

“A 21st Century library is a community-planned, people friendly place for discovery, inspiration, learning and gathering,” Rortvedt says.

The upcoming months and negotiations will determine if Appleton will indeed get a modern library to serve the changing needs of the community.

—By Haley Walters

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