Where will the new Library be built?
Having explored many options over the past several years, the most viable plan is to relocate the Library to the #260 complex on Route 2. This is the land that has recently been developed as the new home for Wally’s Place Bagel & Deli, the Community Health Center, and South Hero Fire & Rescue (preliminary site plan here). The owners have designed the project and infrastructure to allow for additional buildings on the site.
This land will be donated to the South Hero Library, and along with it, the following land improvements:
- A new curb cut onto US Route 2,
- Road access up to the Library,
- A permitted, and built, Advantex septic system (constructed with the 1st building with additional capacity),
- Municipal water has been brought to the site (also constructed with the 1st building),
- A new power vault with 3 phase power stubbed to the building envelope,
- Phone and cable/internet nearby with service stubs near the building site.
Are there other options?
The Board of Trustees has explored other options in recent years, starting with potentially renovating the Folsom School space to allow the general public to access the Library without having easy access to the school. Ultimately, this route would have been extremely costly without solving other issues, such as space constraints, that the library is facing.
The Board has also looked into buying and renovating existing properties, including the former location of the Champlain Islands Health Center and the home for sale at 493 Route 2. When 493 Route 2 went on the market in the fall of 2016, the Library Board toured it to see what changes would be needed, and had an assessment done to determine the legal and financial requirements of converting the space to a library and community center. Pros and cons were carefully evaluated, and also weighed against the pros and cons of the 260 Route 2 location.
After touring other available properties and speaking with real estate specialists and developers, architects and contractors, it’s become apparent that the new location at 260 Route 2 is the best fit to meet logistical and financial requirements while addressing the community’s needs. The Board has worked hard to gain an understanding of what patrons and the community at large would like to see happen with the Library, and we’re making every effort to find the solution that works best for the people and the Town of South Hero.