By Kyle Siegel
The Sedalia Public Library reopened at their new temporary site this past Monday and Library Director Pam Hunter is happy to be open for business again.
“We are excited. We have missed our patrons. We are ready to get in to a routine again. We are providing full services like we did before,” Hunter said.
The new site for the library is inside the old McLaughlin’s Furniture building located at 515 S. Ohio.
The move is temporary while the original location is undergoing extensive repairs due to settling issues.
The building, which is owned by SFCC, was rented to the library for one dollar.
“It is for as long as we need it. We do pay the utilities of course,” Hunter said.
The library staff was able to bring over 60,000 books to the temporary site.
“WE would like to thank SFCC for working with us. Jackson Relocation actually moved us. Ditzfeld Transfer in conjunction with State Fair Moving and Storage, they moved the heavy metal shelving from a library in Independence, Missouri,” Hunter said while speaking of the help they have received during the moving process.
The Sedalia Public Library is now open with their winter hours. They are open Monday through Wednesday from 9 to 9 p.m.
Thursday and Friday they are open from 9 to 6 p.m. Saturday they are open from 9 to 5 p.m., and Sunday they are open from 1 to 5 p.m.
Winter hours run from September 1 to May 31.
Hunter was asked how long they plan on being in the temporary location.
“It depends on when the other business is fixed,” Hunter said.
Estimates on repair time are from six months to one year.
This past summer the Sedalia Public Library was set to undergo some basic maintenance and repair when a bigger problem was spotted with the southwest corner.
Settling of the building became a big issue due to the record drought Missouri went through this summer.
The settling caused a large crack to appear. This crack needed to be repaired temporarily before a permanent fix could begin.
During the repair of this issue other issues became apparent.
“The building is still moving. We are going to have to have some bracing on the inside northwest corner. They are going to go in with steel plates and anchor them for stability. It is not the original problem,” Hunter explained.
The original repair costs were estimated at $4,900, but when the problem with the southwest corner occurred it soon jumped to around $50,000.
At that point in time the city decided to match $25,000, along with the library, to begin repairs.
Once other problems were found, the repairs ballooned to an estimated $750,000.
“It got to the point when the temporary fix wouldn’t take care of the problem. When we first started the project we thought we could stabilize it, but the plan changed,” Hunter said.
While the building is the property of the City of Sedalia, the repair and maintenance and repair of the building were left up to the library itself. This decision was made in the late 1970s when the modern library board was formed.
Recently the library board and the Sedalia City Council began steps to finance the repair costs.
“Last Monday, through resolution 1825, the council agreed to include the library repairs into the $6.2 million bond. The reason for that was to get a lower interest rate. We haven’t actually fine-tuned that,” Hunter said.
She added, “Our intent and the city’s intent is to include us in that package of bonding.”
The library representatives must meet with the bonding agencies to determine how much money can be bonded.
“They will give us an idea. It depends on the size of the yearly debt service on how much we can borrow. We will have options on the number of years to pay it back,” Hunter said. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.