Board looks to purchase buildings
A second meeting of New London Library/Museum Board members and guests took place last week with an agenda that included receiving information from First State Bank on the foreclosed building that was most widely known as Denny’s Supermarket.
The building rests on the site picked by the board as the future site of New London’s next library facility, directly across the street from the existing library and museum.
Bob VanAsten of First State Bank gave the group a rundown of the property. It is approximately 17,000 square feet, made of block, with a roof in need of repair. The building is nine times the size of the 401 S. Pearl Street property that sits on the corner of Spring and Pearl Street.
Board President Ron Steinhorst spoke for the board, saying there was an interest. “We are entering phase one of our three phase process for securing a new library, and phase one includes procurement of buildings on that site.”
Steinhorst himself put up $35,000 to start action on the new library process. He delivered $19,000 of the full amount to the city last week.
“We realize we have a long way to go, but if we don’t start somewhere, nothing will get accomplished,” said Steinhorst. Diane Dorow, vice-president of the board agreed. “We are energized and the effort has to start some time. It might as well be now.”
Steinhorst, who is also a city council member, said he had learned a thing or two from being on the council and now understands that choosing the riverfront as a site for the library was unrealistic. “I know now that the property along the river should be used for business or industry – something that will give New London a taxable property to support all the great things we have to offer here in New London.”
The group spent the remainder of the meeting deciding on committees and broke into groups according to committee. One committee will be looking for a logo and/or slogan for the mission at hand; another will organize the levels of fundraising; still another is to look into the grants available for such an undertaking.
They have their work cut out for them, since they need an additional $11,000 to purchase the first building on their agenda, 401 S. Pearl.
Thursday, Feb. 3 will be the next meeting of the board and guests. The board was informed by First State Bank that they would hold the second property for 30 days to see if the board could come up with a way to put in an offer.
“From this nucleus we can expand, and who knows,” said Steinhorst in his optimistic way, “we may even reach our goal ahead of time.”