By MATT PIKE
St. Joseph Post
A new library will be built in St. Joseph after the board of the Rolling Hills Library approved the plan for a new multi-million-dollar building.
The board approved building the new St. Joseph branch on a 5-to-3 vote.
Rolling Hills Library Director Michelle Mears says the board had been considering building a new branch for quite some time.
"We have been examining our existing facilities and looking to the future to make sure that we have the resources and the facilities in place in order to serve our library district," Mears tells KFEQ/St. Joseph Post. "There of course was some delay during COVID, cause everything kind of got put on hold during COVID, we didn't really think too much about the future (because) we were thinking too much about the present."
A search for a new location will soon be underway. Mears says the goal is to move the library into the taxing district that it serves.
Mears says a new building will allow the library to expand its services. . .
"Right now, we're kind of like a square peg in a round hole, this building was purchased and renovated for a library and for our administrative office, but being on two levels and being a strip mall building in a commercial district, it's not really conducive to a library service we wish it was," Mears explains. "So, we're looking to have some outdoor features, being able to have some green space."
Mears wants the new building to have an outdoor space for reading time, especially after the library couldn’t allow people to gather inside during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mears also would like the new library to have a drive-up window.
There is no timeline currently for when the library will start building, and Director Michelle Mears isn't in a hurry to release a timeline.
"There's no rush, there's no reason to not take the time we need to examine and try to find a great piece of land and go through the process of planning it with the architects and that sort of thing," Mears says. "There's really no need to move quickly on any of that."
The hope is to have the library open in the next two to three years.