Rushville Republican

January 17, 2012

RPL taking steps to renovate, expand

Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — The Rushville Public Library Board of Trustees initiated the Raise to Raze Fund campaign to begin the steps to renovate and expand the existing library building.

The main goal of this fund was to raze the buildings next to the library which were so generously donated by Carter Lanning.

Thanks to Mayor Bostic and the city of Rushville, the buildings were razed this fall with minimal cost to the library. The library board also extends its gratitude to Dana Caldwell and CGS which took block from the razed structures in lieu of a portion of its usual fee.

Now, we turn our focus to removing the remaining structure, the annex across the alley behind the library.

The cost of removing the Lanning building, which included asbestos elimination, fuel for city vehicles, and dumpsters for material removal, ran just under $15,000.

While razing the smaller annex won't be as costly, there is nothing extra in the library's budget at this point to cover it. Thus, the community's support is needed to move forward.

Informative pamphlets with a donor form are available to the public at the library, Citizen's Bank, and the two MainSource Bank Rushville locations. Anyone wishing to make a donation can bring it or mail it to the library at 130 West Third Street. Checks are to be made payable to Rushville Public Library and can be given in memory or honor of an individual.

As many in our community are aware, the RPL board has worked for many years toward the goal of the library's renovation with the knowledge that it would improve the entrances and exits as well as mobility throughout the structure. In addition, the expanded facility could house larger collections, provide more varied programs, and increase computer availability.

After many meetings and planning efforts, the board of trustees determined that the renovation and utilization of the existing structure best met the wishes of the community.

Plans were laid to initiate a bond only to find that the property tax cap (circuit breaker) would not allow the budget to cover both operating expenses and the monthly loan payments that would be incurred. At this point, it was decided to break down the project and fundraising into manageable steps.

The first actions were to raze the buildings adjacent to the library and to apply for a planning grant through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). The next phase of the process will be determined by whether the library is awarded the planning grant as well as the amount of monetary support from the community.