Library plans community conversation


Seeks input on future

For Miami Valley Today

TROY —

Troy-Miami County Public Library will be holding a community conversation to provide information and ask for feedback on the library’s master planning process.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 13 in the library at 419 W. Main St., Troy.

“We hope to come up with a plan that will make the library a centerpiece for the community and that will work for generations to come,” said board president David Lindeman. “To do that, we need everyone’s help and the public meeting is an important part of making that happen.”

Earlier this year the library contracted with LWC Inc. of Dayton to work on a master plan. Several options for expansion of the library have been explored, including building an addition, moving to a new location, and building a new library building at the same location.

The library’s board of trustees would like to hear from the community as they move through the master plan process. The board began discussing its options more than a year ago after hearing about programs and services that are suffering due to lack of space.

“We have gotten tired of discussing what we can’t do,” said library director Rachelle Miller “We hate turning people away from programs due to space constraints and we are constantly saying we have no space for people and groups who want to use the meeting rooms.”

Miller said the library staff and board also hopes to dispel rumors generated from recent publicity. The library does not have a levy on the ballot and discussions on funding the project are in the infancy stages with no formal plan in place. Usage of materials remains at over half a million items a year with print circulation increasing this year over 2018. Roughly 14,000 people walk through the library doors each month and it remains a vital part of the community.

The library is also facing a significant amount of maintenance issues. A mechanical systems study by Helmig Lienesch LLC of Dayton in 2018 described the existing mechanical equipment as “either beyond or at the end of its publish service life.” Several building and mechanical code violations were noted such as air ventilation. The air handling units are difficult to access and maintain because four of the five can only be accessed by a ladder and small hatch, which is also not up to code.

Options for a new system were noted with a beginning cost of $700,000. This does not include any contingencies, such as wiring, that will need to be fixed if they are exposed during the process and are not up to code. That cost also does not include a new boiler or chiller because both are newer and can be reused.

Repairs to mechanicals would take an estimated six months and the library would be closed for much of that time since three of the five air handlers are located above public spaces and because temperature regulation of the building would be difficult.

“It seemed to me that all signs were pointing towards looking at whether or not we could be served by an addition or new facility. The current building was built for solar power and mechanicals have been adapted to fit ever since that failed experiment,” Miller said. “The inside has been arranged and rearranged according to changing uses of the library over the decades as well as changing materials formats and the addition of computers for everyday use.

“The community deserves better than what we can offer at this point. “Please come to this meeting, hear the facts, ask questions, and let us know what you would like to see in a future library. If you can’t make the meeting or would like some answers to your questions before then, please call me at 937-339-0502 ext. 116. I’ll also be happy to give tours of the building.”

The library is funded by the state’s general tax revenue as well as by an operating levy passed in 2012 and taxed at that valuation. The library is not funded by school, city, or county tax dollars.

Seeks input on future