The village board was considering putting a library in village hall. But an architect conducted a cursory review of the available space and found the concept impractical, several board members said.
John Murphy of Architectural Associates evaluated the project at no cost. Village president Jayme Hoffman said that Murphy didn’t want to charge the village for an evaluation of the space was a striking indicator that it wouldn’t fit the bill.
“He just basically looked at it, (and found) that this is just not feasible for what the room we have here,” Hoffman said. “He just didn’t feel that this was appropriate.”
“Here, is a bad deal,” said village trustee Mike Rosenbaum, who was at the meeting with Murphy.
Using the village hall for a library would “significantly impact” other events and services the village uses the rooms for, said Jeffrey Seitz director of Public Works.
“To make the space workable for a library, we’re taking away we’re taking away everything that we worked all these years towards,” Hoffman said.
But Trustees also discussed partnering with the Racine Public Library (RPL) to bring a branch of the library system to Sturtevant to take the place of the independent library they’ve been discussing.
Trustee Mike Rosenbaum, who said he initially didn’t think Sturtevant needed a library, said he found the Racine Public Library had more than 17,000 uses from Sturtevant residents in 2016. And that Mount Pleasant residents used the library more than 140,000 times.
Rosenbaum approached the Racine Public Library system and had a meeting with some of their representatives and fellow trustee Carrie Harbach. At that meeting the RPL representatives said they are interested in partnering with the village for a new library.
Rosenbaum said the general take away from the meeting was that the partnership would see Sturtevant buying a building for a new library and RPL assuming the operations of the library.
Essentially, the village would own the building and RPL would run the library. He also said it was discussed at the meeting that Sturtevant might not have to pay the $160,000 levy to the county for library operations and use if a branch was built in Sturtevant.
Harbach said the RPL representatives told them the building would need to be about 15,000 square feet to operate a library that meets the local needs.
“The hardest part for us would be finding the building,” Rosenbaum said.