November 9, 2023
If you aren’t familiar with Defiance Public Libary’s annex project, click here to read more. Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions. Watch this website and social media (@dplslibraries on Facebook, Instagram, & X) for ongoing updates and new fact sheets related to the project.
Q: Will the zoning allow for an annex?
A: Yes. The lots are currently zoned R2, which allows for “Public and Government Buildings or Uses” and “Public Community Centers” (City of Defiance Zoning Code Section 1169.06).
Q: Why isn’t there a building plan yet?
A: The first step in a building project is to secure the property, which has now been completed. Creating a building plan is not free and is time-intensive. It doesn’t make sense to put resources into a building plan before the property is acquired.
Q: What is the process for creating the building plan?
A: This winter, DPLS will form committees to assist with different parts of the annex planning process. Library staff, community members, building/design professionals, Library Trustees, and Friends of the Library will work together on these committees.
Q: How much will this cost?
A: This is yet to be determined, as it will depend on the building plan. Multiplying the square-foot construction cost of public library buildings by the total anticipated square footage of the building comes to about $4 million.
Q: How is the library paying for this?
A: It will be a combination of fundraising and borrowing. Depending on the amount raised, the library will put either a bond or a levy onto the ballot. The earliest something might appear on the ballot is November 2024.
Q: What will happen to the houses at 319 Fort St. & 109 Jefferson Ave.?
A: The library would like to offer them to the public for $1 on the condition that they must be moved off the lot by a specific time. The library is researching whether it needs to use the competitive bid process and if it wants to wait to offer the houses before or after funding for the annex is secured.
Q: Are the houses empty?
A: Both former owners are currently living in the homes.
Q: Will the annex blend architecturally into its location?
A: The library is planning for the exterior of the annex to reflect the exterior design of the Carnegie building. The annex will be big enough for library/community functions without overwhelming the abutting properties.
Q: What about parking?
A: The library anticipates using the city lots next to DPL, where patrons currently park. There will be accessible parking at the annex, the public lot at the corner of First and Wayne, and on-street parking.
Q: Why put the annex at the corner of Fort & Jefferson?
A: Location, location, location. It’s across the street from DPL, making it much easier for the library to access, staff, & manage. This allows the annex to use the parking lots across the street, & there is overflow parking at the public lot at the corner of First and Wayne. Additionally, two of the lots were donated, which greatly lowers the land acquisition cost.
Q: Why not place the annex in the 1918 building?
A: In 2022, the library looked at using half of the first floor of the 1918 building as an annex location. Unfortunately, the library learned it would be extremely expensive, 2-3 times the cost of new construction, to bring half of the first floor to a state that the library and the public could use. Achieving ADA compliance in the building and bringing it up-to-standard for public use would be difficult and cost prohibitive for DPLS. According to the Defiance County Economic Development office, developers that have looked at the 1918 building estimated the cost to renovate anywhere from $10 million to $23 million, depending on how the building would be used.
November 9, 2023