Public feedback forum held for proposed Appleton library

Published: Jun. 6, 2018 at 7:42 PM CDT
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The architects working on a proposal for a new public library in downtown Appleton met with the public for the first time Wednesday.

The new facility is expected to be a mixed use building which will also house retail and apartment space. It's location would be on the site of the Soldier's Square Parking Ramp.

However, specific details were the focus of Wednesday's public forum. .

"How it fits into the neighborhood is a really big discussion that we're having as well. Obviously it's going to be in the middle of an urban center, so that connectivity to other buildings, other activities, the walk-ability of the district and of course parking, all part of the conversation," said Jennifer Stephany of Appleton Downtown, INC.

Those attending the discussion had lots to say.

Everything from the design, to the location of the project came up for debate.

"I like the idea of a multi-use to help keep the public expense down. I think that's a great idea, plus I love the idea of having concentrated numbers of people downtown. That makes downtown feel more active, alive," said Dave Gerlach of Appleton.

Cindy Carter of Appleton added,"There's been talk about saving this spot and then putting something maybe across the street, which to me makes more sense. I know they're using the whole multi use building, there's a tax incentive but I'm just not for the idea. I'd rather have the stand alone building."

While there's no exact cost, it's estimated a new library would run about $30 million.

The feedback process is expected to continue through this fall.

Right now there's no timetable for when the final details will go before either the library board or the city council for a vote.

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