Renovations at the Rhinelander District Library could begin in July
By Eileen Persike
The Rhinelander District Library Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to begin the process that could lead to renovation work at the library. No longer looking at a grand renovation that would include a large expansion, the project under consideration would add insulation to the north wall and small windows at the top for added natural light, and if the budget allows, open up the northwest corner of the building to increase size by 300-400 square feet both upstairs and in the children’s department in the basement.
Footings are already in place which were added when the library addition was constructed in 1986.
“We’ve now backed off talking about doing the whole renovation,” said Board President Jane Roe. ‘We’re talking about this little section right now, phase one. We want to get that going and then hopefully we can get more money and go from there.”
The board granted conditional approval to spending $15,000 that would cover the expense of hiring construction consultant Gordy Corrus to help prepare the requests for proposal (RFP) and vet them. The extent of the work will be determined once the bids come in. Library Director Virginia Roberts said she expects the RPFs to go out by the beginning of June. The Library Foundation is financing replacement of the current lighting with LED bulbs, which Roberts noted will reduce the library’s electricity bill.
“If it turns out all we can do is just remediate and add insulation, that’s what we’ll do,” Roberts said. “If we have enough money, we’ll do more.”
Corrus has been working with the board since 2013 when talk of expansion began. He has prepared a proposal that includes a phase two, during which the actual construction would be take place, commencing July 24 and ending by Oct. 20. Roberts said Rhinelander city attorney Carrie Miljevich has reviewed the proposal and will work on drafting a contract when one is needed.
Roberts noted that funding for the renovation work will come from patron donations and investments.