Library might relocated to old elementary during renovation
January 21. 2014 10:33AM
The Dell Rapids Library Board is searching for a temporary home ahead of the $1.05 million renovation project slated to start this year, and its first choice is the old elementary school.
All inventory at the Dell Rapids Carnegie Library – more than 30,000 books, magazines, CDs and other publications and all shelving, desks and technology equipment – must be out of the building before construction can begin. Library director Brittany Risty said the old elementary school is an ideal place because of its proximity to the library. The properties share the 6th Street and Orleans Avenue intersection.
The library board earlier this month made a formal request to the Dell Rapids School Board to use five classrooms, one set of bathrooms and the hallway space in the northeast corner of the school building.
“(They’re) asking to rent or lease out the building for about five to six months while the renovations are done,” said Summer Schultz, Dell Rapids School District superintendent, at the board’s regular meeting Monday, Jan. 13.
Board vice president Steve Stofferahn said the building is a good fit for a temporary library, but the district needs to be cautious of overhead costs when settling on compensation.
“They’re going to be there in the summer, so air conditioning is going to be running,” he said, referencing the likelihood of increased utility bills during the library’s time there. “I’m not worried about making any money on it, but we just need to break even on costs.”
Board member Matt Weiland agreed.
“We should at least get our operating costs out of it,” he said. “I would think we would want to be just a little bit above our costs in case something breaks. If it’s being used, it’s being depreciated.”
The district spent about $1.07 per square foot to maintain the building when it was fully occupied, said Barb Littel, district business manager.
“It was based on the percentage of increase that we’ve had in overall utilities from year to year, so that’s the best (estimate) we have,” she said.
Schultz noted the library plans to use its own custodians, not school employees. The library would have to provide its own insurance as well.
Board president Tom Morris suggested offering use of the five classrooms and other requested space for $1,000 per month.
“The number that I had in mind was $1,000 a month. If they’re getting 5,000- or 6,000-square feet for $1,000 a month – and that’s basically just covering the utilities – that’s going to cover our costs,” he said. “We’re not going to make a bunch of money on it. And when it’s all said and done, we might have a couple hundred bucks extra, but it’s not going to be anything big.”
Not only is $1,000 a month a reasonable asking price, Stofferahn said, but the library board can find security knowing that the lease agreement could easily be extended.
“It’s an open-ended lease too,” he said. “If it takes them seven or eight months, they can still be there. It’s not like we’re going to kick them out because we have it leased out somewhere else.”