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Temporary home for Pinney Library identified while new location under construction

August 27, 2018

Pinney Library could take up temporary residence at a former hardware store as East Side Madison residents await construction of the new, expanded replacement library to be completed.

Ald. David Ahrens, 15th District, intends to introduce a proposal at the Sept. 4 City Council meeting to have Madison lease the former Ace Hardware space once the lease ends at Pinney Library’s current location, 204 Cottage Grove Road.

Construction on a new $11.7 million library within a mixed-use development started this spring, but it isn’t expected to be completed until early 2020.

The lease at the current library expires on Dec. 31 with no options to extend, which will cause the library to close to the public on Dec. 1. The former hardware store, 209 Cottage Grove Road, is across the street from the current Pinney Library.

“Multiple project delays meant that we reached the end of our lease at our current Pinney Library before the new Pinney Library would be completed, leaving a significant service gap between having to (vacate) the current site and relocating to the new library,” Library Director Greg Mickells said in a statement.

The new 20,000-square-foot library will be part of the $21.1 million next phase of the Royster Corners project at Cottage Grove and Dempsey roads.

Aside from the library space, which will double Pinney’s size, offer a larger community room, and add new and more technology, the development is expected to include 86 apartments, 16,000 square feet of commercial space, 96 underground and 141 surface parking spaces.

The city plans on buying the library space for $3.1 million from developer Ruedebusch Development & Construction.

If Ahren’s proposal is approved by the City Council, Pinney Library could move into the former Ace Hardware in January and remain there for about a year.

Redevelopment of the sprawling 33-acre site, the former home of the Royster-Clark fertilizer plant, was delayed after a cleaned brownfield was recontaminated with dirty fill in 2013 — a problem that was resolved last year.

The Ace Hardware store, which had 13,000 square feet of sales space between the first floor and a lower level, opened in 2007. It closed earlier this year after the shopping center it was part of was purchased by a new owner.

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