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Planning under way for move to NMC building

The Hudson Area Joint Library will occupy half of the main floor of the former Nuclear Management Co. building, and all of the second floor, under the terms of the lease and option to purchase agreement its board signed with the city.

The library will have use of the lobby and southeast wing of the main floor, according to the agreement. But the public will also use the lobby to access the Hudson Police Department, located in the north wing of the main floor.

Library Board President Jim O'Connor reported at a Dec. 14 meeting that the board's Planning Committee had met with an architect from the BKV Group and begun work on a remodeling plan for the library's 20,000 square feet of space in the building.

The plan now is to use about half of the library's main floor space for the circulation desk and book and other-material processing, O'Connor said. The rest of the space will be used for public-access computers, offices and the lobby, he said.

The adult book collection will occupy the longer north wing of the second floor, and the children's library, the shorter southeast wing, O'Connor reported.

He said the children's library will include a dedicated story area.

"I hope that by the January meeting I can have a plan that is pretty close to final to submit for your consideration," O'Connor told the Library Board.

Mike Hipsher of the Planning Committee said the estimated construction cost of the library's remodeling project is $550,000 to $650,000. About $100,000 of that amount will be for a new elevator, he said.

In addition, the Library Board approved spending up to $67,325 with BKV Group for architectural design and construction supervision services associated with the project.

The city finalized the purchase of the $2.5 million NMC property last Friday, Mayor Dean Knudson reported at Monday night's meeting of the City Council.

The NMC property includes the 40,000-square-foot former corporate headquarters building at 700 First St. as well as a 3,500-square-foot office building at 701 Second St., and a 52-space parking lot between the two buildings.

Channel 15 withdraws request

Judy Kelly, president of the Hudson/North Hudson Community Access Television station (Channel 15), asked the Library Board at its Dec. 14 meeting to consider allowing the station to share space in the new library.

But in a visit to the Star-Observer a couple of days after the meeting, Kelly reported that Channel 15 had withdrawn its request. She said the library would need all of room it has in the NMC building.

Police department plans

Hudson Police Chief Marty Jensen has been told he will have about $200,000 for renovation of the space in the NMC building that will be the new police station.

In addition to about 9,000 square feet in the north wing of the main floor, the police will have the 10,000-square-foot basement and garage.

Jensen reported to the City Council in early December that he also had been working with BKV Group on plans for the new police station.

Jensen said the move to the NMC building will quadruple the 4,400 square feet of space the police department now has in the lower level and garage of City Hall.

Ted Redmond of BKV Group estimated that it would take $300,000 to $350,000 to remodel the police department's space in the NMC building, Jensen reported. But he said a local contractor estimated that he could do the work for close to $200,000.

Jensen said the police department could get by with fairly minor renovations to the building if it won't be there for more than three to six years.

"However, if the department is looking at a longer time period, then a more extensive renovation should be looked at to meet the growth needs of the department, both now and into the future," Jensen said in a Dec. 4 written report to Mayor Dean Knudson and the City Council.

The city would like the library to buy the NMC building. Knudson has said that once that happens, the city will build a new public protection building for the police, fire and ambulance departments.

The city wants to sell the Hudson Municipal Building at 911 Fourth St., home to the existing library, as quickly as possible.

The council went into closed session at the end of its meeting Monday night to discuss plans for marketing the Municipal Building.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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