Community to consider plans for library expansion

Joslynne Schneider has been babysitting eight-year-old Will for a week. Each morning, after Will’s mother leaves for work, and after he has spent quality time with his Power Rangers, Joslynne asks him what he wants to do. Will’s response is usually the same: go to the library.

Now Will's favorite spot in the Meadowood Neighborhood may be getting a makeover.

Staff from the Meadowridge Library and the Meadowood Neighborhood Center and architects from Engberg Anderson will hold a public meeting June 6, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. to discuss planning and future design. It will be held at the Meadowood Shopping Center, 5740 Raymond Road. The meeting will also offer community members the chance to share opinions on the expansion and any ideas that they have for improving community life

The current Meadowridge Library nestles tightly between the local community center and a stretch of cracked asphalt on the 5000 block of Raymond Rd. Earlier this year, the Madison Common Council approved a plan from Alds. Matthew Phair and Larry Palm to expand the Meadowridge Branch of the Madison Public Library.

The library branch expansion will be funded with $1 million from the city . Like other city libraries, the Meadowridge branch is not currently a city owned building. However, Palm and Phair have said they hope to negotiate a better deal with the current property owner, MLG Capital.

The plan would see the library move from its current 5,940-square foot location a couple doors down to the 8,487 square foot space formerly owned by Ace Hardware.

The neighboring Meadowridge Community Center would then relocate to the library’s previous space, increasing its own square footage by 2,802 feet.

Madison-based architectural firm Engberg Anderson is working with community leaders to create a plan that will benefit both the library and the community center with the larger space available: larger and improved areas for children’s programming, a shared space for community meetings, and a jointly owned computer lab.

Mike Bullock, an avid library attendee for years, sees the need for the expansion,

“Most of this area is low-income families and an expanded library is necessary to create a positive influence on the youth,” he said

Will might be there, offering advice on how better to increase the collection of Power Rangers comics, maybe not every one, but just the ones featuring the Red Ranger.