Irondequoit residents had another opportunity Tuesday to speak out on a proposal to build a new library. This was the fourth of five scheduled public hearings. Those living in the town remain divided over the project.
It was nearly a full house in the board room at the Irondequoit Town Hall. Those attending the public hearing heard the Library Board's proposal to merge the two existing library branches into one on the Town Hall Campus.
Preliminary plans call for a three story, 60,000-square foot facility that would include rooms for community meetings and possibly a cafe.
The board says nothing is finalized and there is room for revision.
"The final design will come after we know what kind of money we have to work with, community input on what they see they need and want in their library, so there will be a lot of different steps to that," said Stephanie Squicciarini, Irondequoit Library board president.
One of the current library buildings is on East Ridge Road with another on Cooper Road. Both were built in 1963 and contain 12,000 square feet of usable space. They were last upgraded in 1985. Board members say it costs nearly $44,000 a year for upkeep.
Many residents say building a new centralized library will be an asset to the town.
"It needs to be done as soon as possible. I've lived in Irondequoit for 24 years, 25 years and I'm looking forward to something great happening here," said Cindy Scalia, Irondequoit.
Some remain on the fence and still have questions regarding this project; mainly about the possibility of overcrowding on the Town Hall Campus.
The proposed site for the new library is a treed lot located directly to the east of the Town Hall. It's where some of Irondequoit's town-wide celebrations are held, including the Fourth of July. Parking is a main concern to some, but there are also other questions.
"I don't know how it's going to be paid for. I don't know what affect it will have on the Fourth of July festivities. I'm skeptical of the need for meeting spaces that they're putting in here. The digital age is growing; other libraries are seeing a much reduced need for paper books," said Jim O'Leary, Irondequoit.
The final public hearing is scheduled for the evening of April 10. Residents will then go to the polls April 23 to vote on the library referendum.
For more information on the proposal including where you can vote on April 23rd, click on the link below.
Irondequoit Library Proposal