June 1, 2012

Library project gains momentum

New plan might put facility next to school

by Sarah Einselen

LOGANSPORT — The project to move the Galveston library is picking up steam again after about three years of stalled plans.

Representatives of the Galveston Town Council, the Logansport-Cass County Public Library Board and Southeastern School Corporation met May 10 to inspect a corner of the Galveston Elementary School property, which the three entities are considering for the new town library.

The Southeastern school board gave Superintendent John Bevan the go-ahead on May 22 to continue talks with the town council and library officials about the possible move.

“There’s no definitive action to partner with the school corporation yet,” said library director David Ivey.

Library board members will consider the project at their June 19 meeting.

The school land is one of a few possible locations, Ivey said. The cost of the project will depend on which location the board eventually chooses.

About 180 feet of land between the property line and the school parking lot on Maple Street is under consideration, according to town council president Patricia Gunnell. Library officials have met with the town streets and utilities superintendent to make sure utility service would be available there.

The site’s central location is an advantage compared to the spot where the new library had been planned several years ago. Then, the town had planned to provide space for the library in the southeast corner of the town park near Ind. 18.

That’s far on the town’s west side, Gunnell said, and putting the library at the school would be more convenient for most Galveston residents.

The library board has been planning to move the Galveston branch out of its Jackson Street storefront since 2007. Ivey said at that time that the 1,200-square-foot spot next to the Galveston Town Hall left no room for the library to expand as more people used it.

Architectural plans for a new 4,000-square-foot building were drawn up, then the state legislature’s caps on property taxes shrunk the revenue stream to fund the project.

Library board members postponed the Galveston project in 2009 to focus resources on renovations at the main branch in Logansport.

Over the last six to nine months, the library board looked into applying for grants administered through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. Grant rules restricted libraries from applying for the grants, so the library board asked the town council to do so in its stead.

“The critical thing for us to build that facility is to get that grant,” Ivey said.

He expects that the town will apply for the grant in January.

• Sarah Einselen is a staff reporter for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5151 or