Grove City has begun moving toward buying land for a new public library while Southwest Public Libraries is looking into how much the construction of a new facility will cost.
On Monday, March 18, City Council held its first readings of two pieces of legislation that would authorize the purchase of residential property at 3418 and 3422 Grant Ave. and commercial property at 3959-3963 and 3951 Broadway to make room for the new Grove City library, a component of the Town Center redevelopment concept by the Pizzuti Cos.
The cost of the Grant Avenue property is $272,000, to be paid for from the city's Town Center Loan Program, and the Broadway property will be $1 million, from the city's general fund.
According language in the ordinances, the acquisition of the property on Broadway is, "necessary in order to move forward with the Pizzuti concept plan" while the purchase and demolition of the Grant properties would "provide the City flexibility for future redevelopment in the Town Center."
Second readings and votes are scheduled for April 1.
At the Southwest Public Library board of trustees on March 12, Library Director Mark Shaw said library officials will be getting a preliminary construction cost estimate from the firm Braun & Steidl Architects Inc. Since this estimate will be preliminary, there will be no cost to the library, he added.
"We've got to have a starting point," Shaw said. "All we have is a very rough number from Pizzuti (that) I think is too high."
Preliminary designs for the building will come later.
Shaw said last year Pizzuti estimated a new library would cost around $18 million.
"We don't want anything extravagant," Shaw said. "We want a safe, functional facility."
Shaw said negotiations are continuing with the city. The city and library previously agreed the library will pitch in capital money for the construction as well an annual debt service in return for the city acquiring the land and getting the new facility built, but both amounts are yet to be determined.