News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

July 25, 2011

West Vigo library branch plans move away from community center

TERRE HAUTE — The Vigo County Public Library board of directors voted last week to drop consideration of a daycare center at the West Vigo Community Center as a possible new location for a new library branch. The board is now exploring the possibility of opening a new branch in the West Vigo Elementary School.

At its July 18 meeting, the library board voted without opposition to drop the daycare center at the West Vigo Community Center, known as “The Learning Center,” from consideration.

“We’re sorry that the deal with the library did not go through,” said Jan Medley, interim director of the community center, who was reached Thursday. “We’re sorry they chose not to use our facility but we plan to market it to someone else.”

The daycare facility is 5,500 square feet in size. In rejecting the proposal, Library board members stated that they understood there were title problems with the property, but Medley said there really is no problem with the facility’s title.

“There’s no title problem with the building,” Medley said. “From our perspective and the IRS perspective, there’s no problem with the title.”

Meanwhile, Vigo County School Corp. officials have approached the library about the possibility of using two classrooms at the West Vigo Elementary School for a West Terre Haute branch. That possibility is being explored, said Nancy Dowell, library director.

At the July 18 meeting, some board members expressed concern regarding possible costs of renovations necessary to convert the classrooms into a library branch. They also questioned how school security requirements might affect the library. Nevertheless, the proposal remains under consideration, Dowell said Thursday.

“It’s definitely not off the table,” she said.

The Vigo County Public Library, due to budget cuts, closed three library branches in 2009. Only the West Terre Haute branch was spared because the building already was owned by the library. However, the West Terre Haute branch’s building, which has housed the library branch since the early 1960s, is no longer compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and needs other expensive renovations, Dowell said. Cost estimates have shown that renovations are “just not economically feasible,” she said.

Much of the use of the West Terre Haute branch involves usage of the branch’s computers, Dowell said. “It appears that Internet access is a very big part of what we offer there.”

Arthur Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (812) 231-4232      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com.

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