TROY — The city of Troy’s Board of Park Commissioners gave their consent to the Troy-Miami County Public Library (TMCPL) to begin the transition paperwork to acquire the Clayton Brukner Park for the library to pursue its new building project on its current lot.
Last week, the park board said they’d consider entering into a memorandum of understanding agreement with the library to transfer ownership of the park to the library board. City council would have final approval once the park board OK’d the agreement, according to Director of Service and Safety Patrick Titterington.
TMCPL Executive Director Rachelle Via asked for the “gradual” transfer of the parkland to the library so the library’s board of trustees could continue to plan for the new facility.
“We spent a lot of time making sure we took into account the historic architecture of the downtown area,” Via said.
Via said the board sought to design a historically accurate building to blend in with downtown Troy’s historic features.
The three-story library building is estimated to cost $15 million. The library board is currently coordinating a capital campaign to raise the funds to build the new facility.
Via said the new library building’s plans include dedicated spaces such as the first floor for adult materials and meeting spaces, the second floor to be used for children’s materials and programming, and the third floor to be used as a community space.
Via said the library’s design hopes to incorporate a maker space, or an area that provides an opportunity to create intellectual and physical materials using resources, as well as a community kitchen, and more meeting spaces for community use.
Community development senior manager Martha Harris said the building’s design mirrors the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center. The building would be placed further back towards Water Street using the Brukner parkland. The new design accounts for green space in front of Main Street. Via said with the planned green space along Main Street, the area would likely have more public use as a place to eat lunch or a place to enjoy Main Street.
Park Superintendent Jeremy Drake asked what would become of the wrought iron fence that is the last remaining piece from the Edwards School. Via said it would be kept and incorporated in the new design, likely in front of the new building. Park Board Commissioner President Al Kappers said he liked the design concept of the plans.
Harris said the library board sought estimates within the last few years to renovate and expand the current building, which was around $7 million. Infrastructure issues such as its heating and cooling and elevator systems have also been costly over the last few years, Harris said. Harris said other locations were considered, but the board thought the library should remain part of the downtown Troy area in its central location.