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JRVLS approves library plans: Board plans to circulate petition to put project on the ballot

Illustration courtesy / James River Valley Library System A plan from JLG Architects shows how the new consolidated library building will be situated, with multiple parking lots and a drive-through bookmobile garage.

Plans for a new, consolidated library for the James River Valley Library System were approved Tuesday, and the JRVLS Library Board intends to circulate a petition to put the building project on the ballot for voters.

0 Talk about it

“We have a lot more drawings to do once these are approved as a basic plan. Then there will be little tweaks and so on, and the details will be added,” said JRVLS Library Director Joe Rector.

The plan includes a drive-through garage for a large bookmobile, as well as a large meeting room, study rooms, rooms for small groups and space for technology, children’s programming and materials for young adults.

The concept floor plan is for a facility sized at 26,488 square feet and costing approximately $8.23 million, including the price of the land at the former Essentia Health site.

The library’s main entrance would lead to a parking lot accessible from Third Street Southeast and Fourth Avenue Southeast, with additional overflow parking located across Fourth Avenue Southeast, and a staff parking lot accessible from Fifth Avenue Southeast.

“We really need to have a plan to show people, and we are close to having an exterior rendering that we authorized last time,” Rector said.

At its meeting, the library board spoke with Eric Stroshane, field services lead librarian with the North Dakota State Library.

Rector and Assistant Library Director Jennifer Senger had earlier spoken about the new library plans with representatives of the North Dakota State Library.

“We were incredibly pleased just overall with the potential of the facility, the layout of everything, and the thought that had gone into                   it ...” Stroshane said, calling the layout of the children’s area “inspirational” and the whole plan “thoughtful.”

The state library representatives encouraged the JRVLS Library Board to ensure that the young adult area remains flexible, that handicapped parking space is adequate, the roof is adequately sloped for drainage and electrical outlets in the building are sufficient.

They also suggested having drive-up book drops.

In other news Tuesday, the library board:

* received an update about the bookmobile, which would still be too heavy for spring weight restrictions even if every book was removed. As the bookmobile is also aging and replacement parts are becoming difficult to find, Rector said he would research possibilities for replacement, including smaller vehicles.

* approved raises of 4 percent for most employees, with three people receiving larger increases as salary adjustments due to increases in workload and responsibilities.

* tabled a discussion regarding Christmas bonuses for employees, to the next meeting.

* set its next meeting for 4 p.m. Dec. 18.

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by email at