Council hears final input on library expansion proposal

Dave Lein, Editor

Photo by Dave Lein

A large crowd filled the Elk Rapids Governmental Center on Monday night for a final public hearing regarding the village council’s upcoming decision to approve or deny a plan to expand the historic Elk Rapids District Library. Shown here, local resident Andree Serra-Magsig shares her favorable opinion of a library expansion with council members.


ELK RAPIDS – Another standing-room only crowd of more than 150 people were on hand Monday night for a special meeting / public hearing at the Elk Rapids Governmental Center, where village council members heard final input regarding its upcoming decision to approve or deny a plan to expand the historic Elk Rapids District Library.

The meeting began with an opening statement from library board president Barb Johnson, which led into a formal presentation by architects from Hopkins Burns and Daniels & Zermack outlining the proposed expansion to the district library along with highlights of a requested smaller addition.

The library serves and is supported by the Village and Township of Elk Rapids, Milton Township and (through contracted services) a portion of Torch Lake Township.

Last November, the library board submitted its original 6,320 square-foot addition proposal to the Elk Rapids Village Council. Instead of ruling on that request, council voted 4-3 to ask the board to submit another expansion proposal that would not exceed 4,000 square-feet.

Council’s approval is required for the proposal to move forward because the 1865 historic facility was bequeathed to and is owned by the village and its residents.

That vote by council followed an extensive campaign by the library board, which has agreed to raise all of the funds – estimated at $4.7 million for the original design or $2.7 to $3.8 million for the smaller proposal – to build the addition.

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