What's the old library's fate?
November 28, 2018
Determining what to do with the old Carnegie Library is something the county is hoping a grant can help out with.
During a recent Sweetwater County commissioners meeting, the board unanimously approved a resolution allowing the county to apply for one or multiple grants so a structural engineering firm can assess the structure. Human Resources director Garry McLean said the facilities committee has been reviewing its master plan for county-owned structures and is trying to figure out what to do with some that are no longer in use and hard to maintain, such as the Carnegie Library. McLean said the city of Green River and private persons interested in the library have been involved in discussions on what to do with the building.
“There is a fair amount of interest in preserving the building, but everybody’s kind of talking outside of their expertise with respect to the structural integrity of the building,” McLean said.
According to McLean, the north wall of the building is causing the most problems. He said due to water issues, the north wall is pulling away from the roof, but support beams have been put in place to stop additional damage.
The real question is if the building, from a cost-perspective standpoint, is worth renovating or at least stabilizing, he said.
What is clear is that if something isn’t done, it’s just a matter of time before the structure eventually falls down on its own.
Sweetwater County Museum Director Brie Blasi was consulted and told McLean there are grants available for this kind of study. McLean said the county needs to find out how much it would cost to stabilize the building and make a decision based on that number. He said the cost estimates range widely from some as low as $150,000 to as high as $5 million. That’s what needs to be found out before the county can proceed.
The commissioners were supportive of moving forward with the grant applications and made it clear that no decisions would be made until a structural engineering study has been completed.