Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Tracie Mitchell
Staff Writer 

Washakie County Commissioners discuss County Library renovation


March 2, 2016

WORLAND – During the Washakie County Commissioners meeting Tuesday the renovation prospect of the Washakie County Library in Worland was discussed with Mark Averett from the TSP Architecture Company out of Sheridan, Washakie County Library Director Karen Funk and the Library Board.

During the meeting the existing building and what would be needed to bring it up to code was discussed, which included talk about installing a sprinkler system in case of fire and why the slab under the library is sinking causing the floor to become uneven and whether the problem was an easy fix or not.

“We need to know what to do to the existing facility to make it more functional and bring the building up to code,” Washakie County Commissioner Aaron Anderson stated.

Averett agreed to complete four options for the Commissioners. The first option would be the best case scenario and solve as many issues as they could. The second option would be the middle ground which would solve many of the issues but require compromise on the wants. The third option would just cover bringing the building up to code and improve functionality. A fourth option was to revisit the Washakie Wear option.

“Moving the existing library to the Washakie Wear building was a possibility at one time, but there would be a lot of work to fix that up too,” Washakie County Library Board member Bev Firnekas said.

Once TSP returns the four options, the Washakie County Commissioners will be able to decide what the next step will be. Here too, they will have four choices, build a new library, add on to the Worland Community Center complex, renovate the existing library or move the library to the Washakie Wear building.

“We have a million dollars sitting there that loses 4 percent every year in value. Renovating the existing facility could be the most responsible fiscal choice we have,” Anderson said.

The library received funding through the one cent tax from 2008 - 2012. The tax generated the library $1 million which was originally intended to build a new facility but the cost of a new facility is much more than the $1 million. “There’s been architecture done before to do a brand new stand-alone facility, there was architecture done to attach a facility to the community center (Worland Community Center Complex) and the issue that we ran into is that the cost of the stand-alone facility and the cost of attaching onto the community center is really high which makes it very difficult to get anything done,” Anderson said at an earlier meeting this year.


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