The City Council and the Linn County Board of Supervisors are working to prioritize a long list of 80-plus local projects, each of which would like a piece of $118.5 million still remaining in the state’s I-JOBS economic-stimulus pot.
Among the project details that have come to light as part of the I-JOBS competition is the fact that the Cedar Rapids Library Board of Directors has plans to build a new $45-million library to replace the flood-damaged one on First Street SE.
Susan Corrigan, library board president, defended the price tag on Tuesday evening when asked about it by a reporter at the city’s open house to discuss flood-damaged city buildings.
On Wednesday afternoon, Corrigan issued a press release to say the replacement cost for a new library will be $45 million, an amount that will cover a new building, materials, furnishing and parking.
Corrigan said the city expects to receive $22 million of that amount from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to replace the flood-damaged library. She noted that the state I-JOBS fund already has given the library $5 million, and she said the library will be seeking an additional $10 million from the I-JOBS program. Additional funds may come from the Vision Iowa program and from a private capital campaign, she said.
“FEMA will pay to build a new facility, but we owe it to the community to make our new library a smart, long-term investment,” Corrigan said.
The library board does not want to rebuild a new library on the site of the flood-damaged one. It’s preference is to get to higher downtown ground.
The library board envisions a 105,000 sq. ft. library to replace what had been an 85,000 sq. ft. one.