A new Hesston Public Library will soon be reality as the Hesston City Council and Public Building Commission approved renovations to the former SunGlo office building to become the new library during a Monday night meeting.

 

The council approved a proposal from Regier Construction of Newton for $855,000 to tear down half of the existing building, which is on Main Street, and add on a new 70-foot by 100-foot metal building, with the two structures actually remaining structually separate.

 

The cost of the project will amount to about three-quarters of a mill increase over the two mills the council passed last year to help pay for a new library.

 

The bonds for this project will be for 20 years, with the average impact on a $100,000 house to be less than $9 a year in additional property tax.

 

Those costs approved Monday night include EIFS on the outside walls of the new part of the structure, at a cost of $50,000.

 

While the original plans had called for a 12-foot eave on the roof, Christa Jahay with Regier suggested adding two feet to the ceiling height.

 

At a cost of roughly $10,000, Jahay said the additional two feet will allow more room for shelving, as with the lower roof, some shelves would basically be touching the ceiling, which wouldn’t allow for lighting above the shelves.

 

And with some of the windows, the higher roof will mean more windows will be able to be placed over shelves instead of behind them, allowing more light in.

 

John Carder, city administrator, said it would be “$10,000 well spent.”

 

The cost does not include new shelving, furniture, the fire sprinkler system, the phone system or signage. The library board is planning to raise funds to help furnish the inside of the building.

 

Library director Chris Buller noted new shelving would give the place a more uniform look, as well as better facilitate a move to a new library, as books could be moved from old shelves to new shelves.

 

The cost also does not include sidewalks or paving.

 

The project will be a design build, with Regier Construction subcontracting some parts of the design work. The plans Regier will work off are basically the plans designed by architect Hans Fischer, who the library and city had been working with on the project.

 

Jahay predicted the building could be done by mid-June if the weather cooperates.

 

The Public Building Commission will actually be the owner of the building, leasing it to the city.

 

The library board has been working on a new library project for more than two years. The current facility is full and landlocked, leaving no room for expansion.

 

The current library is about 5,300 square feet, with the new library to be about 10,000 square feet. The city purchased the SunGlo building in August 2008 for $200,000.

 

Two previous proposals for a new facility, one in 2007 and one in early 2008, came in at $2.3 million and $1.4 million, respectively.