PLATTEVILLE — The City of Platteville is going ahead with plans to study the redevelopment options for the Library Block.
The Common Council unanimously voted Aug. 14 to apply for a Community Development Block Grant through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to study the block bordered by West Main Street, South Chestnut Street, West Pine Street and South Elm Street.
If approved, the city would pay for half of the $50,000 study from the city’s Library Fund.
“The library is the catalyst for the entire project,” said Cynthia Jaggi of Economic Development Partners, LLC, which would conduct the study, adding state government “very much likes the project.”
The Library Block presently includes the library, the Block, Scott & Heenan Law Offices and Block Apartments, the Neighborhood Health Partners clinic, a dance studio, a real estate office, three houses, and a 16-stall parking lot shared by the library and First English Lutheran Church.
The proposal would combine an expansion of the library, either at its current location at 65 W. Pine St. or at a new location, with potential new rent-paying tenants on the block. UW–Platteville is listed as a possible partner for the project.
“The university’s assisting in that they’re helping determine the market value of the block,” said City Manager Larry Bierke.
Jaggi said the study will “take a look at what currently exists and expand it” as the first option.
In addition to the library and a new Neighborhood Health Partners location, the grant application suggests adding a community center, and housing for low- to moderate-income people, families and senior citizens.
“This project doesn’t happen until the library moves somewhere else,” said Common Council President Mike Dalecki.
The Platteville library, which serves as the central resource library for five surrounding counties, is crammed into 10,450 square feet at its current location. The grant application suggests doubling the size of the present library.