News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 20, 2011

Vigo Library board gathering costs for WTH branch changes

Arthur Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Actual dollar figures were placed on some possible West Terre Haute library branch projects at Monday night’s meeting of the Vigo County Public Library Board of Directors.

The board members heard from Michael Waldbieser, an engineering consultant, who said that necessary repairs to the existing West Terre Haute branch of the VCPL would cost as much of $60,000. He also told the board that renovating classrooms at West Vigo Elementary School to make them into a library branch could cost as much as $60,000 to $100,000.

Finally, Waldbieser said a brand new library building on the site of the current facility on West National Avenue would cost approximately $400,000 for a very simple structure.

The library board has been looking into the possibility of relocating the West Terre Haute library branch for several months. The board voted to close branches in Terre Haute two years ago in a cost-saving measure. The board retained the West Terre Haute branch because the building in which it is housed is fully owned by the VCPL.

Nancy Dowell, library director, told the board there are other properties in West Terre Haute that are being studied as possible future locations for a branch. The board took no action but approved the continued investigation of sites in West Terre Haute.

Meanwhile, the board voted without opposition to allow Dowell to begin negotiations with Minnesota-based 3M Corp. for the possible purchase of an automated self-checkout system. The system, if purchased, would free up library staff and allow them more time for assisting patrons, Dowell said. It could also allow the library to allow for staff reductions through attrition, she said.

The automated system would cost approximately $177,000 and would involve placing special identification tags or stickers on loanable library materials. The system would allow the library to update its security system, which is badly out of date, Dowell said.

Arthur Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232.