Appleton considers mixed use site for new library

Published: Aug. 15, 2017 at 8:22 PM CDT
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We're learning more about plans to build a new public library in Appleton.

On Tuesday the Library Board met to discuss options, including a potential mixed use facility.

It's a debate that's gone on before: What to do with Appleton's Library as it continues to outgrow its current building.

Some have suggested a massive remodel, but right now the library board is leaning towards an option calling for a new site that would combine the library with something else.

Alderman Greg Dannecker said, "Most of the multi-function, multi-use facilities -- library facilities -- that we've looked at, as examples as a library board involve either retail or housing or office space, all of which would be taxable entities."

Library Board Member Nancy Scheuerman added, "It can be apartments. It could be condominiums. It could be retail. It has to be a proper fit with a library -- that's the one thing our board of trustees will want to be sure that we evaluate very clearly."

In June of 2015, plans for a new library were voted down by the city council that would have led to construction along the Fox River on the former site of Fox Banquets.

Since then the future of the library has been a big question.

"I see a change in the process. First, we're looking for requests for proposal from developers. We want them to come up with an idea. We want them to be driving more of the plan," said Dannecker.

The goal is to have different proposals on paper within the next 6 to 12 months allowing the council to make the final decision.

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