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Library signs lease for new home



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March 16, 2011 - It took a lot of hard work, numerous meetings and intense discussions over the last several months, but it's finally a done deal and the Addison Township Public Library will be moving into a new home this year.

"All along I felt this was a marvelous opportunity for this library and I continue to believe so," said Library Director Michele Presley. "I think the community will come to appreciate it."

Presley was both "relieved" and "excited" that the library board finally signed a 10-year lease to rent approximately 3,000 square feet of space inside the Lakeville Towne Square strip mall located along Rochester Rd.

"The library can get out of the lease at any time. There's no penalty," she noted.

Rent is $1,000 per month, not including natural gas and electric bills, which are extra and the library's responsibility.

As for when the library plans to move into its new digs, Presley said, "They don't have an official timeline."

"I am hoping that they can move in (by the) end of May, beginning of June," she said. "That's my goal. I won't be here to see it, but that's my goal."

Presley's last day is April 29. She's moving to Texas (see related story above).

Wilson & Associates, an architectural firm based in downtown Oxford, was hired to do the construction drawings, so the strip mall units can be combined and transformed into a user-friendly public library.

"I'm hoping to, by the end of the month, have (the drawings) all done and (the work) ready to be bid," Presley said. "I'm anxious to get started."

To pay for the necessary renovations to the strip mall site, the library has at its disposal $228,183 in Certificates of Deposit, plus a fund balance of $88,000. The library typically uses its fund balance to pay operational expenses until it gets its millage proceeds from the township in April.

The library's savings will also be used to help cover the new location's increased operational costs, which, back in January, Presley estimated could be approximately $5,000 per year more than the current site.

A firm operations budget has not been established yet. It could be affected by whatever the library board decides to pay the next director, when one is hired.

The new library will have nearly triple the space of the current facility, which occupies between 1,200 and 1,300 square feet of what used to be a kindergarten classroom.

"We're finally going to have the room to put all of our books on the shelves at one time (instead of stacking the overflow on the floor). That doesn't sound like much, but it's huge," Presley said. "It's been so tight and so cramped in here for so long . . . I tripped over a pile of books the other day and they all went flying."

The extra space will also afford the library the opportunity to expand its number of computer work stations from one to four.

A grant is paying for three new computers, which will provide everything from internet access to word processing.

"You'll be able to sit down and work at them, instead of standing up like you do now. That will be wonderful," Presley noted.

A pair of computers donated to the library will be set up in the new children's department. These terminals will strictly feature educational and interactive games for children.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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