The Gazette covers City Hall, now a flood-damaged icon on May's Island in the Cedar River

A detail spotted in a City Hall handout prompts library board president to launch a press release: Yes, she says, a new library will cost $45 million

In Cedar Rapids Public Library on June 24, 2009 at 3:51 pm

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.

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  1. In the end this money will come from the tax payers of Linn County. Fiscal responsibility is need right now. Not over indulgence because “you can”. It’s my experience that the vision Iowa fund has already been raided by his highness Culver. This is not a sound way to go. Anyone beside me tired of hearing all this goverment saying, “gimme, gimme, gimme!”

  2. Outrageous. These people are living in a dream world. I’m sure they’ll give themselves a 50% raise as well.

  3. A good library is invaluable to the community. Building a library of the future, and not spending money on a duplicate of a dated one, should be a priority.

    I hope everyone can agree to that.

  4. So just how does the library have a cost figure, and none of the other renovations and new facilities? I’ll tell you how. The library is x square feet @ x$ per sq. ft. They know the answers to the other buildings also. They’re just hoping to get reelected, and tell us after November.

    Take a moment and think about this. It does make sense.

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