June 5, 2012

Galveston library back on track?

— It’s good to see officials talking again about a plan for a new library in Galveston.

Representatives of the town council, Logansport-Cass County Public Library and Southeastern School Corporation met last month to inspect a corner of the Galveston Elementary School property as a possible location. Library board members will consider the project at their June 19 meeting.

Whether the library will wind up on the school site is still up in the air. Library officials say the site is one of a few possible locations.

The library board has been planning to move the Galveston branch out of its Jackson Street storefront since 2007. Library officials said at the time the location next to the town hall left no room for expansion.

Then, the town had planned to provide space for the library in the southeast corner of the town park near Ind. 18, but that location is on the town’s far west side, a location town officials see as far less convenient for town residents.

The old plan drew quite a bit of attention, not only in Cass County but across the state as the architects proposed a zero-energy structure designed to harness environmental energy through solar panels, geo-thermal heating and natural day-lighting.

Architects said the project not only would reduce energy consumption, but also store energy to be sold for profit. A concept drawing of the proposed library appeared in Library Journal, a publication for librarians.

At the time, library officials said they hoped the eco-friendly structure would serve as an example for the community.

Sadly, tight budgets have kept the structure on the drawing board, where library officials say it will likely stay until funds become available.

The library board considered applying for a grant through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, but it learned that grant rules made libraries ineligible for funding. As a result, the library has asked the town of Galveston to apply for funding, something officials expect will happen in January.

We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed that the application proves successful and that the library is able to get this groundbreaking project back on track.