“We will have a better ….

Posted 9/29/21

“We will have a better idea of actual project cost once bids come in,” Meyer said. “On top of that, architectural and engineering fees are estimated to come in at $152,880 (we’ve paid $66,025 …

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“We will have a better ….


“We will have a better idea of actual project cost once bids come in,” Meyer said. “On top of that, architectural and engineering fees are estimated to come in at $152,880 (we’ve paid $66,025 of this), plus we’ll have to cover building utilities during construction ($6,000 estimate).”

Library furnishings and landscaping are not included in the $1.7 million already raised, which is why the Once Upon a Library Gala has a goal of $200,000 to close that gap.

“The Gala Committee’s target is $200,000, which is the rough estimate for the furnishings,” Meyer said. “As with construction costs, we won’t have a firm number for furnishings until we receive bids on those items. I truly have no idea what to expect for landscaping costs until we hear back from the landscape architect.”

Meyer said the Friends are waiting to hear on one pending grant application for $5,000, as well as a list of smaller grants that could be applied for to fund smaller, specific items when the time is right.

“We also have pledges for the next four years,” Meyer said.

Those are $87,000 in 2022, $56,000 in 2023, $51,000 in 2024 and $51,000 in 2025. Invoices for pledges will be sent out March 1.

With a tight construction timeline, Ayres architects are working on submitting final plans to the state and village. The plan is to award construction bid(s) on Nov. 1 with a completion date of mid-to-late March 2022.

Gala event

The “Once Upon a Library” event will take place virtually with silent and premier auctions, a fund-a-need drive, and pledge, Oct, 19-23, culminating in an in-person grand gala event on Saturday, Oct. 23 to be held pre-construction in the future library.

“People can get a feel for the space and really envision what it will really be like,” Gala Committee member Kim Beebe said.

The event schedule is as follows:

•Oct. 19 – Virtual welcome to the Gala. Silent auction and Fund-A-Need begins.

•Oct. 20 – Featured guest speaker

•Oct. 21 – Premier auction begins at 9 a.m.

•Oct. 22 – Auctions and Fund-A-Need continue

•Oct. 23 – Grand Gala with social hour at 5 p.m., Dinner served by River Valley Catering at 6:30 p.m., silent auction results at 8 p.m., premiere auction closing at 8:30 p.m. followed by program and pledge drive, ending at 9:30 p.m.

Tickets are needed for the in-person Grand Gala on Oct. 23. Everyone is invited to participate in the virtual festivities regardless of whether they will attend the Gala.


In May 1924, a group opened a library at the home of Mrs. Badger in Ellsworth. The library eventually moved to the basement of the Fireman’s Opera House, then to the Combacker building, and finally to its current location (312 W. Main St.), its home for the past 63 years. Today the library serves 2,823 patrons who check out more than 65,000 items annually.

The village formed a Building/Space Committee in 2012 tasked with finding space options for the library. The current library, at 2,880 square feet, falls far short of the recommended 16,000 square feet for the number of cardholders, the size of the media collection and community needs. The new building will be 11,750 square feet.

The committee examined many options, including building new, expanding the current library and relocating to a vacant building. The committee recommended the BMO Harris Bank building thanks to its cost and location as a cost-effective solution.

This new location will provide the community with another 50-year legacy, said Beebe.

To learn more about the project, buy Gala tickets, make a donation, explore naming opportunities, see a donation wish list and more, visit: www.friendsofepl.org/gala