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January 17, 2020

12/6/2019 3:07:00 PM
Plans move forward for the Dodgeville Library expansion project
An aerial view of what the new Dodgeville Public Library may look like if passed during February's referendum. It would be located towards the front of Piggly Wiggly.
An aerial view of what the new Dodgeville Public Library may look like if passed during February's referendum. It would be located towards the front of Piggly Wiggly.
The Dodgeville Public Library has been a topic of heavy discussion during the last few months, and there are already design concepts laid out.
Blue prints from HGA Architects, Engineers, & Planners out of Milwaukee, WI, have been handed out to council members and community members highlighting what could be, if the referendum for February passes.
At last Tuesday's special Dodgeville City Council meeting, council members passed a referendum that reads, ""a resolution and order providing for an advisory referendum on the question of construction of a new public library at a cost not to exceed $7,000,000 in the City of Dodgeville, Iowa County, WI." The resolution passed by a 5-2 vote with Alderpersons Mike Borne and Dan Meuer opposing, feeling that the referendum should go to the April election instead.
In information provided by the Dodgeville Public Library, library services have been available to the Dodgeville Community since 1900. It once occupied the current Dodgeville Police Department and moved to its current location on South Iowa Street in 1988. The 6,724 square foot building is shared between the Dodgeville Public Library and Dodgeville City Hall.
What's the reason for the expansion?
The library has been heavily used, and the current building does not have sufficient space for its many functions. Not only were 58,304 items checked out in 2018, the library has provided access to books, magazines, newspapers, digital media. It has also provided programs for children, teens and adults.
While it has been overcrowded in recent times, the library has also been heavily used not just by school aged children but also by adults.
"We also provide proctoring exam services," Dodgeville Library Director Vickie Stangel said. "This allows people who take online classes to come to the library over their lunch hour to take exams, go back to work, and complete their degrees that way. We've also had book clubs and people that come in to take their real estate broker exams."
Stangel has presented in front of Dodgeville City Council multiple times that because of the overcrowding at the current building, the library has had to become creative on how they handle programs.
Stangel has pointed out limited public seating, collection shelving taking up more space, and that the library also has a very small programming space. In 2019, many children's programs have been relocated to the Council Chamber in City Hall.
Parking has also become a problem at the current location. For those who require handicapped services, parking is available for these services at a couple spots at the top of the parking lot closest to Kwik Trip.
These spots are at a downhill slope making it a potential danger for those requiring wheelchairs.
At the special meeting held Tuesday Mayor Todd Novak stated that human resource finance, personnel and are apart of the city hall.
"The city hall is also growing and we just can't coexist anymore," Novak said. "We need to let people know it's more complicated than that. We either need a new city hall or a new library."
Where is the new library expected to be located?
The city of Dodgeville's population, according to the Wisconsin Department of Administration, is projected to be approximately 5,600 in 2035, a 19.3% increase from 2013. Because of potential difficulties in the current building, the library has agreed to move to another location and has found a potential location.
If passed a library, totalling approximately 20,906 Gross Square Feet, would be located at the corner of Douglas and Spring Street south of Piggly Wiggly.
What happens now?
It is unknown what the contingency plan is but should the referendum fail, the City of Dodgeville plans to sit down and revisit library plans going forward. There are upcoming meetings for Dodgeville Public Library. A Library Foundation Board meeting will be held at Dodgeville City Council Chambers on Monday December 9 at 5 p.m. followed by a Library Board of Trustees meeting that same day. There will also be meetings on January 13 at the same time and same location.
For more information on the project, contact Vickie at 935-3728 or email vstangel@swls.org.








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