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Platteville council gets first look at current Library Block design
Library Block from NE
This Library Block rendition shows the corner of Main and Chestnut streets, looking from the northeast, with the librarys main entrance on West Main Street north of the Holiday Inn Express. - photo by Plunkett Raysich Architects LLP

The Platteville Common Council discussed the Library Block project Tuesday, one week after the Plan Commission recommended approval of the project.

The $16 million Library Block project includes a new library and a 72-room Holiday Inn Express hotel. The Neighborhood Health Partners clinic would be moved to the current library space after renovation.

Suggestions brought up during the Plan Commission meeting March 2 included adding a hotel entrance on Chestnut Street, a rooftop garden or plantings, and landscaping or planters along Main Street and Chestnut Street, the north and east borders of the project.

The Library Block presently includes the library, the Block, Scott & Heenan Law Offices and Block Apartments, the Neighborhood Health Partners clinic owned by the Southwest Wisconsin Community Action Program, a dance studio, a real estate office, three houses, and a 16-stall parking lot shared by the library and First English Lutheran Church. Block, Scott & Heenan’s building is the former Cunningham Hospital.

The new version of the project includes a 72-room Holiday Inn Express hotel and a 22,000-square-foot library, more than double the size of the current library. The new library would include a 100-person meeting room and conference room for 10 to 12 people on its second floor. It also would include areas geared to teen and tween readers.

The project takes up less of the Library Block — South Chestnut, West Pine, South Elm and West Main streets — than originally planned after a parking lot owned by First English Lutheran Church was removed from the project. Eliminating apartments, retail and some parking reduced the project to $16 million, instead of the original estimate of $19 million to $21 million.

The project would have 55 underground parking spaces and 42 stalls of surface parking. That is less parking than the previous plan of 122 underground parking stalls, with 81 of them dedicated to public use on the first underground level, to go with 24 parking stalls in the courtyard.

Once the council approves the project and the last property is acquired, demolition of the seven buildings that will be torn down and site preparation will take place in July or August, with construction to run from August until July.