East Troy Lions Public Library Needs Assessment and Building Project

Several years ago, the Library Board began discussing the need to undertake a Space Needs Assessment process, in order to determine what kinds of library spaces, programs, and services we need to best meet the needs of our customers.  To launch this process, we formed a Steering Committee, composed of Library Board representatives, Friends of the Library representatives, Randy Timms (former East Troy Village Board President), Alison Senkevitch (former Library Director), and community members representing various user groups (e.g. seniors, students, parents of young children, local business people).  We also worked with the Village Board to secure funds to hire David Cameron, an architect and consultant with Architectural Design Consultants, Inc., to help lead us through this process.

Early in the process, it became apparent that there was a general consensus among all involved parties that we need more space, and space that is handicapped accessible and just better arranged for the functions of a modern, busy library.

While getting consensus on this point was relatively easy, getting everything else figured out, especially location, is more difficult.  The Steering Committee considered many issues and questions:
  • We needed to accurately and without bias evaluate the current building and site.  Is the current building structurally sound enough to anchor a new addition?  Is there enough space on the current site to accomodate an expansion (now and perhaps again in 30 years)?  How would an expanded building "fit" into the area, given the existing parks, schools, and roads?  Does the current location provide the best access for all user groups?  What are the cost implications to expanding the current building?
  • ​​We began a discussion about alternative locations including the Leona Doubek School, Chester Byrnes School, or new land.  We needed to ask the same questions.  These discussions are ongoing and involve the School District, and potentially other entities. ​​​​​
  • We asked, "What are the core functions of a modern community library and how can our library serve the lifelong educational needs of the community?"  A library should certainly have books and other media to inform, instruct, and entertain, but it should also make use of its ability to create spaces for collaboration and meaningful social engagement.  It should create learning spaces to meet community educational needs that traditional classrooms may not meet.​ ​​​ ​​​ 
  • Should we incorporate a community center that could become a focal point for the community?
We know that there are many more decisions that will need to be made.  And we know that some of those decisions may involve other entitites, such as the School District, that may have a degree of influence on our ultimate decision.  We promise that there will be more public meetings and other opportunities for public input, and we ask for your patience as we continue to investigate, inquire, and research.

Also, we would like to invite all of you to read either the full version of David Cameron's "Facility Conditions and Space Needs Assessment" report (approximately 160 pages) or the "Executive Summary Package" version (approximately 60 pages).  This document has information such as:
  • an "existing facilities condition" review (full version only)​
  • a summary of data collected from all of our surveys, focus groups, public meetings,etc.
  • "peer benchmark data" (collection size, # of programs, expenditures, etc.) for libraries of similar size and other libraries in our area.
  • "opinion of probable cost summaries" for what a new or expanded library may cost (please understand that these numbers are very rough estimates).  
We will have a few paper copies of both versions here at the Library, although we ask that you either read the reports at the library, or make and pay for your own photocopies.  If you prefer electronic access to the documents, just click on the links at the bottom of this page.

If you have questions after reviewing the report, please bring them to our attention.  You can speak to any Library Board member or Director, Tami Bartoli, and we promise to fully listen and respond.  After all, this is your library and community center that we are working for, and the more community feedback we gather, the better the result will be.

Library Board Members
Kathy Brobst
Santa Consiglio
Jackie Gotz
Amanda Jones
Mary Hubbard Nugent
Kristina Murphy
Nancy Manschot
Leslie Thomas
Steering Committee Executive Summary

Final Steering Committee Report