Monona Council approves library expansion project plans

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The Monona Council approved the plans and specifications, form of contract and cost estimate for the Murphy Helwig Library expansion project Monday evening.

The latest total cost estimate, said architect Christina Monk, with FEH Associates, Inc., is $899,514, up $14,500 from the previous estimate.

Some of the new cost, she said, relates to the need for a temporary bathroom during phase I of contraction. In that time, work will be done on the front portion of the library, including the addition of the children’s and young adult sections, as well as the meeting room. As part of the roof and a wall will be removed, a temporary bathroom will be installed in the staff room.

Once the library’s front addition is complete, the back portion will be updated during phase II. Monk said she’s unsure during which phase the parking lot will be completed, but said, either way, it will likely not be accessible until the expansion project is finished.

With the council’s approval, Monk said project bids will be due Tuesday, April 14, in time for the council to consider awarding a contract at its Monday, April 20 meeting.

Hay Days

Monona Hay Days events will move back downtown this year, said Monona Chamber and Economic Development (MCED) Director Rogeta Halvorson. 

The annual event will be held Friday and Saturday, June 19-20, beginning with the Monona Volunteer Fire Department’s glow run Friday evening. That will begin at the city park, making it the only event held outside downtown.

On Saturday, the parade and a pancake breakfast sponsored by the Butterfly Garden and Trail group will kick off events. Halvorson and volunteer Jessie Schubert explained the committee, which has taken the reins from the Lions Club, would like to close one block each way from the intersection of Main and Center Streets, making room for a variety of other activities. One whole block will be devoted to kids activities. A bean bag tournament, volleyball and basketball are also planned. A classic car and truck show, beer tent, food stands from local non-profits and live music will be part of Hay Days as well. In addition, local alumni can participate in an all-class class reunion.

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