When the Boise City Council meets this Tuesday, April 9, lawmakers will be asked to slide some money around in order to fund something called the" Library Vision Project," which will move forward with plans to ask an architectural firm to prepare options to either renovate or build a new downtown main branch for the Boise library system.
But architectural plans don't come cheap: A winning bid came in at a cool half-million dollars. Library officials said they negotiated the cost down to $262,000 but that's still more than double the budgeted $100,000. As a result, the City Council will be asked Tuesday to move $162,000 from a management contingency acount in the city's General Fund over to the Library Vision Project in the city's Capital Fund.
The main library branch's orginal design targeted a Boise population of 75,000. But Boise's population has ballooned to over 210,000.
In 2000, a consultant estimated that it would cost $40 million to build a new 185,000-square-foot facility. In 2010, the idea for a new main library resurfaced, but by then, the projected construction cost had balooned to $118 million.