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Calloway Library Expansion: Architect Proposes Trading Properties In New Proposal

Taylor Inman

The Calloway County Public Library Board is considering trading properties in a new expansion proposal.5253 Design Group Head Architect Chris Cottongim presented a symmetrical layout option that would allow the library to stay open during construction. Some board members have voiced concerns about the cost of relocating during construction.

Cottongim said the plan would require trading the James Pickens’ Dental Office next door for the library’s adjacent Olive Street property. “If you could gain this property, I don’t care if you build on it or not, do what you said you were going to do- you don’t have to build on it- that would be better for the library in the long run,” he said.

Credit Taylor Inman

The board approved having Director Mignon Reed start a conversation with Pickens.

Cottongim also presented a “campus style expansion” option requested and supported by Board Secretary Mark Kennedy. That option includes a separate children’s library behind the existing library.

Credit Taylor Inman

Cottongim did not recommend this option because it would “cut the library’s programming in half” and would require additional staffing. Despite Cottongim’s concerns, Kennedy still voiced his support for the campus option.

Expiring Board Term

The Calloway County Public Library Board is taking applications for Joseph Walker’s board seat that expires in August.

Walker was appointed by then-Judge/Executive Larry Elkins in 2018 after three members resigned near simultaneously following a vote to move forward with a $6.4 million expansion plan. The board did not have enough members to meet, leaving the appointment process nearly entirely up to Elkins.

The board is taking applications until May 24 and will vote at a special called meeting on June 4.

Board President Audrey Neal said each member will vote for two applicants. The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives will verify the top two vote getters. Judge/Executive Kenny Imes will appoint one individual after a fiscal court vote.

Neal said she’s “glad to be able to do this the way it’s supposed to be done,” referring to the appointment process by Elkins last year. She said the board being able to vote lets members “judge each individual's commitment to the library.”

Taylor is a recent Murray State University graduate where she studied journalism and history. When she's not reporting for WKMS, she enjoys creative writing and traveling. She loves writing stories that involve diversity, local culture and history, nature and recreation, art and music, and national or local politics. If you have a news tip or idea, shoot her an email at!
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