ew library facility set for Platte Cityby Ivan Foley and Shana Haines Landmark staff
Mid-Continent Public Library is purchasing nearly seven acres of property in Platte City on which it will build a new facility.
The land involved in the purchase is near the intersection of Running Horse Terrace and Prairie View Drive. It runs contiguous with county-owned property on which a community center will be built near the same intersection.
Mid-Continent is purchasing the property at a cost of $590,000.
“The new library should be larger, with a more open floor plan, and additional room for the library’s programming and service needs. With the new library neighboring the planned community center, the buildings will create a civic plaza to facilitate the information and recreation needs of the people for years to come,” said Steven Potter, north area administrator for Mid-Continent Public Libraries.
The new library will replace the current facility at 412 Main St. in downtown Platte City. That downtown facility was built in the mid-1980s.
Potter said construction activity is expected to begin as soon as the weather improves. Official address of the property is at 15350 Prairie View Road, he said.
Jim McPherson of Weston, a trustee and chairman of the building committee for Mid-Continent, says the new facility is needed.
“We can’t expand in the old building. We’re limited as far as parking at that facility, among other things,” McPherson said. “The building is not yet inadequate, but it’s getting close to being inadequate.”
McPherson said the current library is about 6,500 sq. ft. The new one will be larger, at least 7,500 sq. ft., and likely more.
“Plus we’ll have plenty of room for expansion,” McPherson explained, adding that the library will be negotiating a contract with an architect soon.
He said the current Platte City building is the oldest one in the Mid-Continent system.
A larger facility, he said, will allow the library more room for community activities like book clubs, children’s hours, etc.
“We’re doing a lot more of those types of things than we used to. The library is just not a place to go get books anymore,” McPherson said, adding that the library has much more electronic equipment than it previously had.
“We’re hoping the library’s circulation grows with the new location. We wanted (the new location) to be accessible to people,” he added.
Platte County Commissioners encouraged Mid-Continent to build near the county’s planned community center.
“I think having the library and the community center located near each other is a wonderful opportunity. I have thought for a long time that Platte City needed a new library. When I found out that the property located next to the community center was available I urged the board to look at that,” Knight said.
Local librarian Karen Dwight would like to see the new facility turn out to be much larger than the old one.
“We are hoping to double our size. We have a lot more people to serve and we want to make sure we can serve them all,” Dwight said.
Mid-Continent has about 30 branches in its system, which serves almost 600,000 people, McPherson said.