By Margie Plunkett
The Friends of the Library in Boca Raton want a bigger footprint for the new public library than initially proposed and are willing to give the city a $250,000 gift to do it.
The gift will support 1,250 more gross square feet — 800 net after space for walls, mechanical and restrooms are factored in — and the Friends want it to be used to increase the used-book store in the planned facility to 1,600 square feet from 1,200. The balance of the added space would be used to enlarge the library’s multipurpose room.
“It has always been our intent to buy additional space and not to provide an additional burden to the city of Boca Raton,” said Judith Teller-Kaye, the Friends’ liaison to City Council.
Teller-Kaye made it clear that if the library wasn’t made bigger, the Friends wouldn’t donate the money.
“It is a gift contingent on enlarging the footprint of the library, to increase the size,” she said, explaining the money came to the Friends as a bequest. “We believe the city of Boca Raton is entitled to a larger library.”
Ian Nestler of architect design firm PGAL gave an overview of the library, showing off a 40,000-square-foot proposal that sits on the corner of Second Avenue and Fourth Street to give it a more urban setting .
Cost of the building is about $200 per gross square foot.
The library, which houses children’s, youth and adult book collections, will have parking for 200 cars, a covered front entry with a drive-up book drop and a community park on the east side.
The building takes advantage of the “wonderful light to the north,” Nestler said. The facility is organized on a diagonal that cuts from end to end to bring in the light, he added.
The area with the bookstore and multipurpose room is in the vicinity of an entrance and can remain open even when the rest of the library is closed.
The Friends are working with the city to provide an operating agreement that would protect the city on providing income from the bookstore on an ongoing basis.