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Library Expansion Update 11 27 18 - The Livingston County Library is getting closer to a plan for the old Walgreens' building. The Livingston County Library Charitable Trust purchased the building as the new Children's Library in late June, 2018, with the help of the fund left to the library by former director, Lillian DesMarias. The Trust board and the Livingston County Library board, a political subdivision, have been working to get into the planning stages. Library Director Candy Warren says they are now working with the design firms. Warren says they will involve the public soon. They hope to make an announcement for the public participation in the coming weeks. She says once the design is set, they will begin the process of taking bids from contractors and moving into construction.

Library Trust Buys Downtown Building
A prominently-vacant downtown Chillicothe building has been purchased.
CT 06 26 18

"The Livingston County Library Charitable Trust Board of Directors is pleased to announce that it has purchased the commercial building at 917 Washington Street, formerly a Walgreens store," a news release from the trust board confirmed Monday morning. "The building will be renovated and will become the new home for a branch of the Livingston County Library that will serve as the Children's and Teen Library," the release disclosed.

C-T Photos / Paul Sturm

The property is on the southeast corner of the intersection of Washington Street (U.S. Highway 65), the city's main north-south thoroughfare, and Polk Street. The lot itself, which currently has paved parking for about a couple of dozen vehicles, is approximately 1 1/4 acres, according to Candy Warren, Livingston County Library director. The single-story building encompasses 10.450 square feet of interior space. "After learning that the library was reaching maximum capacity for its collections and program space, the Trust Board wanted to offer a solution that would benefit the library and the community," explained Warren. "This would also create space at the main branch for expanded adult services."

The library's main facility is in the one-time federal building at the southwest corner of Clay and Locust streets downtown. Lindy Chapman, chairperson of the Livingston County Library Charitable Trust Board, stated, "The Trust Board is excited about renovating this building to be used as a Children's and Teen Library. "In addition to being a practical expansion of what our library can offer to county residents, we believe that Lillian DesMarias would be very pleased with this use of the funds she gave to the library." The Livingston County Charitable Trust board was formed in 2013 when former library director Lillian DesMarias bequeathed the library approximately 8 million dollars. The trust was created to accept that bequest and other donations and allocate funds to the library for additional programs, materials, services, expansion, and future capital projects. All excess memorial funds not being used for expansion and improvement purposes are kept separate, invested and reinvested by the board. DesMarias, called "a progressive thinker" in the news release, was responsible for the installation of the library's elevator and ramp, remodeling of the front entry, and expansion of the Children's Department to its current home in the library's lower level during her time as director.

"The Library Trust Board has been working on this project for several months and we are anxious to get the renovations underway," Chapman adds, "We know that this will be a wonderful addition to the library and to the community." Warren also noted, "We also want to be sure that it is known that the addition of this new branch of the Livingston County Library will not increase the cost to taxpayers in the county." She indicated that the next steps are for the Board to put the project out for bid and begin renovations this fall.

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