(From left): Library Building/Space Committee Chair Paul Bauer, Village President Becky Beissel, Library Director Tiuany
Library reno begins with wall smashing

By Sarah Nigbor

ELLSWORTH – Local ovcials, library building/space committee members, capital campaign team members and library stau marked the beginning of the renovation of the former BMO Harris Bank building into the new Ellsworth Public Library on Tuesday, April 26 with a wall smashing ceremony. Drywall flew as mallets hammered a wall, bring ing smiles to those in attendance.

General contractor Market & Johnson, project architects Ayres Associates and library and village ovcials were on hand for the ceremony, which opened with remarks by Ells- worth Library Director Tiuany Meyer, Library Building/ Space Committee Chair Paul Bauer, and Village President Becky Beissel.

“I really want to give a big shoutout to our community,” Bauer said. “Hopefully this is the start of many other projects to come.”

Beissel said a recent community survey conducted by UW-River Falls Professor Christopher Holtkamp, who is spearheading the village’s Comprehensive Plan process, showed that people consider Ellsworth to be “okay.”

“No one really loves it and no one really hates it,” Beissel said. “That’s when apathy sets in and it’s an uphill battle that a lot of communities are facing.”

The library project is something of which the community can be proud, a gem in the village for decades to come, she said. It will be a showpiece drawing people into the community, inspiring others to get involved to help make Ellsworth a place everyone can love.

Ayres began working with the library on expansion ideas in Fall 2019. The future space will give the library 11,649 square feet of space, which is four times more space than the current 2,880 square feet of space at 312 W. Main St. Cur- rently, 40% of library programs are held ou-site due to lack of space.

As of April 12, 2022, the community had raised approximately $1,851,786 toward the $2 million goal for the new building.

Meyer said at last Wednesday’s construction meeting, the building permit was ready to turn in and a construction schedule was drafted. Demolition will start any day. The estimated date of substantial completion is Sept. 2, 2022.

The new space will provide library patrons and community members with private spaces for studying, job coaches, therapists, social service visits and tutoring in small meeting spaces; a large meeting room for civic/community functions, improved handicapped accessibility; separate, welcoming spaces for diuering needs and ages; educational/fun programs for all ages held at the library; comfortable sitting areas with a couee machine; a wider variety and number of books, DVDs and CDs available for check-out; increased space for unconventional items to check out; and a larger space to display local talent and art.

To learn more or find ways to donate, visit ellsworthli brary.org/building-campaign-2/

Meyer, Library Board President Judy Perkins and Friends member Pam Enger were on hand for a celebratory wall smashing Tuesday, April 26 at the new Ellsworth Public Library location (388 W. Main St.) Photo by Sarah Nigbor

stakeholders take a swing at a wall in the new Ellsworth Public Library (388 W. Main St.), the former BMO Harris Bank building, on Tuesday, April 26. The library remodel will start this week. Photo by Sarah Nigbor

Library Building/Space Committee members hammer a wall with gusto in the new Ellsworth Public Library location on Tuesday, April 26. The wall smashing ceremony kicked ou the long-awaited renovation project. Photo by Sarah Nigbor

takes a turn at the Ellsworth Public Library wall smashing event on Tuesday, April 26 as Library Building/Space Committee Chair Paul Bauer and Kim Beebe from the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce look on. Photo by Sarah Nigbor

At the Ellsworth Public Library wall smashing event held Tuesday, April 26, a map showed how the new library space will be laid out in the former BMO Bank Harris building.

Photo by Sarah Nigbor

Confetti flies as Paul Bauer and other key library project

Youth Services/Program Coordinator Caroline Herfindahl

May 3, 2022