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Oak Creek Mulls Concepts for City Hall, Library

Construction on a new library and city hall in the Drexel Town Square development is expected to commence next year.

As work continues to attract tenants to the Drexel Town Square project, which aims to create a new downtown for Oak Creek on the former Delphi site, officials on Tuesday presented concepts for another component of the development: a new city hall and library.

Architects are still designing the buildings, but on Tuesday presented three options to aldermen on how the facilities could be laid out. The concepts generally link the buildings in some way, both directly (a bridge-type structure and atrium being two possibilities), and indirectly (shared outdoor space).

Concepts also included a clock tower feature to make it visible from Drexel and Howell avenues, as well as underground parking for city vehicles.

"Very preliminary; we're just kind of going through the schematics studies and working through some concepts," said Steve Kuhnen of Bray Archtects, the firm designing the facilities.

Officials say they are now planning both buildings to be two stories. The library previously said they preferred a one-story building for efficiency purposes, but the site is apparently set up better for two-story buildings.

"Once we started actually thinking about the site and how everything would work together on the site, we realized a one-story library really wasn't going to work as well as a two-story," Library Director Jill Lininger said. "The library is perfectly fine with investigating a two-story. We have some ideas in mind of how we can go about mitigating the staff needs and making sure everything still works as efficiently as we originally thought it would be on a one-story building."

The library is expected to be 50,000 to 60,000 square feet, while city hall will be 20,000 to 25,000 square feet. The facilities are now 14,000 square feet and 16,000 square feet, respectively.

The library and city hall are slated to be built in the center of the development near the town square. Plans show apartments on the west end, a "Main Street" with shops leading to the town square in the middle, and restaurants and retail on the east side.

The Common Council next year will approve design plans for the city hall and library. Construction is also expected to commence in 2013.

The team of people working through the design phase of the project is focused on how to best serve residents, said Steve Chamberlin, the owner's representative for the city.

"There's very strong commitment and a good understanding of the importance of this being a public project," he said, "and the importance of it meeting the needs of the client, which is the public."

ICare December 21, 2012 at 03:50 PM
I am excited for the new building projects planned for this City. Our library is in dire need to be expanded and updated and I believe if you build it they will come to it--there is no desire now for me to go to our current library and enjoy my surroundings but I look forward to the day when I can. The City Hall is in poor repair in anticipation of the new building planned and I long for the day when I can proudly walk into a beautiful City Hall building to do my business. Embrace the changes and utilize it all that you can. This lovely community needs a good foundation and infrastructure and these are worth investing in.
Marie Venne December 21, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Coming from someone who actually uses the library I'm excited for the new facility. I currently use the new Greenfield and Franklin libraries more because they have study rooms and are setup to utilize technology better. They offer so many more services than just paperbacks. This is a valuable resource for the community that is available to everyone no matter your age or income. This will be money well spent
Mark Schaaf December 21, 2012 at 05:38 PM
One clarification pointed out to me was that the underground parking mentioned would be for city vehicles, not employees. Story updated to reflect that.
Dan Vitek December 21, 2012 at 07:27 PM
What ever happen to the plan to use the planentarium dome that was salavge from the old Delphi site??e Instead of a clock tower use the dome it will be fitting as a dunce cap for all the clueless aldermen
Marlene Donarski June 06, 2013 at 12:53 PM
I, too, agree that this is a waste of valuable space that could be developed with a tax paying facility. If you're building two-story buildings why not just add them to what we have now. And We certainly don't need another grocery store. Why not utilize the present library as a drop-off, pick-up place for library materials that can be ordered on the phone or internet just like the old catalog stores of Penneys or Sears--people mostly use the library for internet use so just have more computers and list the materials available. We OC tax paying residents are not street people so why do we need an expensive library to go and sit in or use as a babysitting place for the high school kids to wait in for their working parents to pick them up.. Try this as somethig different--don't be afraid to think outside of the box. From an OC property owner of 47 years

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