Green River Star -

People Editor 

County's Carnegie Library discussed


October 11, 2017

What to do with the Carnegie Library was something the Sweetwater County Commissioners discussed last week.

During the commissioners’ meeting last week, they spoke with a representative from Alliance for Historic Wyoming.

The alliance has been around for 12 years and is funded through membership fees and federal and state grants, Alliance executive director Carly-Ann Anderson said.

“We were originally founded to do national historical trails protection across the state of Wyoming of Wyoming, working with groups like the Oregon/California Trail Association,” she said.

Wyoming is still one of few states where travelers and residents alike can see the wagon trails from the past, which makes it unique.

“We want to try and find balance in keeping the trails...” Anderson said.

“We do have issues that come up, as you know we do have over 30,000 miles of roads in Sweetwater County and some of those were trails. And some do criss cross trails,” Commissioner Wally Johnson said.

The group wants to keep as many trails as it can, while allowing housing and business projects to move forward, she said.

Carnegie Library

Another focus for this group is old, historical buildings, like the Carnegie Library in Green River. Anderson said they are traveling statewide to try to see what local communities want to see done with their old, historic buildings. Some want to restore them, while others just want what’s there documented before it’s gone.

“So the Carnegie building, in particular, when do you folks say a building is not salvageable,” Commissioner John Kolb asked.

Anderson said they have a team of architects they work with who are known for their work on historic buildings.

She said they will look at a building from the foundation to the roof and get cost estimates on how much it would cost to restore the building. They also include demolition costs.

“We really like the idea of getting cost estimates and real numbers in people’s hands, so that you can plan for what that might look like,” she said.

“Some buildings, obviously they’re not salvageable for a lot of reasons right,” Kolb said. “I have a building background, construction, and I can tell you the Carnegie building is one of those buildings frankly, and it’s a beautiful building.”

He said when the building was constructed it was built the building downhill and water has destroyed the foundation.

Kolb wanted to save the information inside and have it put on digital files so history would be preserved that way. He said sometimes buildings are so far gone that at the end of the day they can’t be restored.

“Unless you folks want buy it or we give it to you and you bear all of those costs,” Kolb said to Anderson.

He said in the future, they need to have an open, honest communication about what to do with the Carnegie Library.

Anderson said it’s an option to see if anyone is interested in it. Even if the library were restored, they would need to have a purpose for it, a building can’t be left empty.

“We need all of the help we can possibly get,” Commissioner Don Van Matre said. “If there’s anyway you can help us preserve things, and find additional sources of revenue. We’re very receptive and love and appreciation our history.”


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