Tonganoxie library forum coming Thursday to VFW Hall

This rendering shows what the new Tonganoxie Public Library potentially could look like. Officials are having a open house meeting Thursday to discuss potential plans further with the public as the library officials look to also get more feedback from residents. Enlarge photo

March 27, 2019

Residents can get more information about potential plans for the new Tonganoxie Public Library and also provide their input at a meeting later this week.

Officials from JE Dunn Construction and Sapp Design Architects will also be on hand with library officials for the community forum, which will be 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday at the VFW Post Home, 910 E. First St.

Discussion items planned for the forum are exterior elevations, an updated site plan, interior designs and an interior floor plan.

Several people involved with the ongoing project were at last week’s Tonganoxie City Council meeting for an update on the project and to field questions.

Tonganoxie City Council Member Curtis Oroke asked about excavating planned for the building and, based on those plans, why a basement wasn’t part of the overall plan.

Oroke debated with project officials about the feasibility of the basement, but officials said it wasn’t feasible based on the budget with which they were working.

Revenue from a 20-year 3/4-cent sales tax, which Tonganoxie voters approved in 2017 through a mail-in ballot, is funding the library, along with a prioritized list of infrastructure projects.

The sales tax replaced a 10-year sales tax initiative of the same rate that funded Tonganoxie Water Park.

As the project was being discussed initially a few years ago, library officials estimated that a new library would cost between $3 million and $3.6 million. But as the project became a reality, current prices showed an anticipated price tag near $5.1 million.

The council agreed in 2017 to fund the project at $3.75 million.

Initial renderings showed substantial window space on the southwest corner of the library. Oroke voiced concern about that feature with regards to glare from the sun and the summer heat. Project officials said shades could regulate that when necessary.

Those aspects of the project and more will be discussed Thursday, which makes it another opportunity for residents to weigh in on their future library.

The new library will be built on the south end of the former Tonganoxie Elementary School grounds at Fourth and Shawnee streets in the downtown area.

For those who can’t attend Thursday’s forum or have questions about the project, be sure to contact or visit the library, 303 S. Bury St., call 913-845-3281 or visit the library’s Facebook page at

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