From The Wichita Eagle:
Wichita’s library board has a new, leaner plan for the proposed central library on the southwest corner of Second and McLean: Start smaller, serve targeted needs and grow the facility as needed.
Today, that board will ask the Wichita City Council to pursue a scaled-down new library building to replace the 90,000-square-foot pre-fabricated concrete structure near Century II downtown, a 1967 building ill-equipped to support the library’s evolution from a collection of books and magazines into a curator for electronic information, city and library officials say.
The council will be asked to clear the way for a smaller-scale, more affordable library costing $30 million or less, at least 20 percent under current project estimates, in a nod to the city’s ongoing budget crunch, which is expected to last through 2014. The scaled-back library would be built to accommodate expansion possibilities as needs and money dictate. Meanwhile, the library’s foundation has agreed to launch a fundraising campaign to supplement the city’s contribution.