The Rice Lake Library Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to move the RLPL to a new site at Rice Lake in what was formerly the Lakeview Hospital. This is in part due to the generosity of the Hospital Board in offering the property as a donation, but also was due to the many benefits this site offers to you as a Library user. Some of these are:
- The wonderful amount of space available. The Lake site will allow your new library to be constructed on a single level, making it more accessible to seniors, those with physical challenges, and those with small children. Currently, we are in a 1940s former grocery store that houses very narrow, steep staircases. At the moment, if one family is climbing the stairs, nobody can come down. Staff cannot manage all three levels, so if a patron needs assistance with the microfilm in the lower level, another patron on the main floor may have to wait for assistance.
- Parking is plentiful. Currently, the number one concern we hear at the Library is how little parking is available. Even the Handicap parking spaces are far from the entrance and require navigation over a rough and uneven surface and alley. In the winter months, this is especially challenging. At the new site, not only is there plentiful parking, we also have plans for a drive up service under a canopy, keeping our most vulnerable users out of the harsh Wisconsin weather.
- The possibility of future growth or collaboration. In our current location, we are sadly locked in to a footprint that allows no further expansion without expensive purchases. The lake site will allow us to grow and change with our community’s needs. It will serve Rice Lake for generations to come and will be a showpiece for generations.
- The savings it offers will reverberate throughout the project. By accepting this property, the City and Library can build the new library to the specifications needed without interrupting services at all. It involves only a single move, rather than the two required by the current building (one to get out of the way of construction and another to move back in.) It allows us to build on a single story, saving Rice Lake taxpayers money every single year in operations. If the Library moves, the current site can be sold, adding funds to the project.
- The view. The Lake site offers a beautiful view of Rice Lake, and in fact, is one of the only spaces open to our entire community that would allow all of our citizens to enjoy one of the more lovely properties in our city.
- The green space. Storytime in front of the lake, private or business events that make use of our meeting room and veranda, Readapalooza summer kickoff with a safe and accessible space for the 800+ attendees.
- Programming. With a more efficient space, our staff can focus on providing our community with more and better services. Technology training, children’s and teen events to meet the needs of our young people and families, and programs for business leaders and historians are all in the works if and when we have the space and time to offer them.
- A safe and secure facility. The current site offers several safety concerns and the building layout has contributed to the commission of crimes against our patrons and community. A new site, developed for the purpose of a Public Library (rather than another retrofitting) allows us to create a facility that can be viewed and managed from several vantage points.
The Library Board of Trustees and the Library Staff understand the desire to keep the Library in its current location and we appreciate those users who have shared their concerns about a new site. We do hope that some of the advantages are clear, though, as our goal is to look for the best possible solution to the many issues the Library faces. If you have questions or concerns, please let us know! We are so happy to discuss how the decisions have been made and are interested in gathering patron input as we move forward with the project.
Library Director Dawn Wacek can be reached via email email@example.com or phone at 715-234-4861 ext. 111
The Library Board of Trustees meets the second Tuesday of each month at Rice Lake City Hall.