City of Ashland voters will have an opportunity to vote on whether or not to fund Phase One of the Vaughn Library Renewal Plan on April 2, 2024. The question will be “Shall the city of Ashland be authorized to borrow by issuing, pursuant to Chapter 67 of the Wisconsin Statutes, general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $4,340,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of library projects?”
If the referendum passes aging building infrastructure will be modernized and brought up to code, including – bathrooms, heating/cooling, fire protection, foundation repair, window replacement, electrical and lighting upgrades. The floorplan will be updated to include more casual seating, book collections on the second floor, additional spaces to meet and specific areas for children and teens. Phase One incorporates glass where currently there are walls and centrally locates librarian offices to create a safe, shared public space for all.
If the referendum does not pass, delay of Phase One means prolonged wear on systems already overdue for replacement, continued non-compliance with some federal and state building codes, loss of public dollars to heating and cooling inefficiencies, a lack of public meetings space and continued sense of deterioration and unease within the worn and less secure public spaces. At worst, delaying captial investment in the Vaughn will result in a piecemeal approach to addressing repairs, limiting the ability of library to serve as a community crossroads enriching the cultural, educational and economic life of the area and ultimately is more costly to tax payers with less benefit.
The Benefits of Phase One:
- Improved efficiencies in lighting, heating and cooling, electricity and connectivity
- A welcoming community gathering place inspiring exploration, creativity and collaboration
- Improved security through centrally located librarians, more visibility and open space
- A robust wireless and wired network and hardware for those who need access for employment, school and connecting with friends and family far away
- Specific space for families with young children and for teens
- More space for library collections with easier access for browsing and discovery
- Maximized use of the building for community events, small-group work and learning
- Meeting space with built in technology to support dynamic communications