Public library begins construction on expansion


Desiree Roe Graphic

Proposed library block redevelopment site plan.

By this time next year, a new 72-room Holiday Inn Express will be within walking distance of campus.

The hotel is part of a development project that includes the construction of a new building for the Platteville Public Library and an underground parking area. The current library building will, after refurbishment, serve as the new location of the Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program Neighborhood Health Partners Clinic.

Beginning this week, the public library parking lot will be fenced off to allow construction equipment in to start the project, said Jessie Lee-Jones Platteville Public Library Director. Construction on the Library Block Project is expected to begin next week. The new building, projected to be completed by Dec. 2016, will double the library’s square footage.

Lee-Jones said she hopes that the expansion of the new library building will allow the library to offer more services to University of Wisconsin-Platteville students.

“We have a lot of university students that use our public library and I think that expanding our facility will only make the relationship between the university and the public library that much stronger,” Lee-Jones said. “We’re excited to be able to offer study rooms, which is something we currently don’t have, so small groups or even some larger groups will have some bigger meeting rooms.”

Platteville Main Street Program Executive Director Jack Luedtke said that the part of the development that would most affect the UW-Platteville campus is the construction of the Holiday Inn Express.

“Here are 72 new rooms at the hotel within a block and a half of campus, so when potential faculty or students visit they can stay within walking distance of campus,” Luedtke said.

Luedtke believes that this project will encourage similar projects.

“Each step adds to the density of people frequenting the downtown area, and it brings with it opportunity as well as some issues, and it is a good thing to have. It keeps your downtown vibrant, it keeps the community vibrant, and development like the library block and the hotel between the downtown and the university is an added plus for the connectivity to the university that we like to see strengthened between the university and the community,” Luedtke said.

Luedtke said street parking will not be affected by the completed project.

“The developer was required to provide a certain number of spaces under the ordinance of the city and it will not and should not cause concern for street parking.” There will be 55 parking spaces in the new underground parking lot and 34 parking spaces in the surface parking lot.

The SWCAP Neighborhood Health Partners Clinic will be moving off the block while construction is underway. Platteville Public Works Director Howard Crofoot said that as of Mar. 1 the clinic will be temporarily located on the first floor of city hall with an entrance on Mineral Street. Right now the clinic is located on the corner of Main Street and Elm Street.

There is likely to be disruption to pedestrians while construction is underway Crofoot said.

“I know that there is some student housing close to [the block], plus if people live in the regular apartments in the downtown and they’re walking to campus, they’ll need to walk around the construction zone,” Crofoot said.

The construction is expected to be completed in spring of 2017.

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