.The LaGrange County Public Library's building project to date:
2/6/95 Contacted architectural firms to address the following:
  • Building expansion
  • ADA compliance
  • Automation of library system
  • 5/15/95 Bill Koster from Koster & Associates talked with us about redesigning and remodeling the library.
    7/17/95 Ron Menze and George Morrison from Morrison Kattman Menze, Inc. gave a presentation on a possible feasibility study for the library.
    9/18/95 Maria Staiano and David Dixon from The Cooler Group Inc. offered options on how the library could become fully accessible.
    11/20/95 Board members visited the Bremen, Gas City, and Eckhart libraries to view the work of the three architectural firms and ask questions.
    1/15/96 Board members decided that The Cooler Group should proceed with the feasibility study.
    1/?/96 Mary Ball contacted Phil Malone to let him know that the library was interested in the county jail.
    6/3/96 Betty North and Mary Ball talked to the town council about the possibility of closing the alley between the library and the fire department.  It was decided that the expense of relocating the utilities was too great.
    6/17/96 Mark Diehm from Soil and Water Conservation contacted Mary Ball about the possibility of housing the bookmobile in a pole building that they were planning to construct on Paul Gilman's tree farm.
    10/28/96 Appreciation Day at Dr. Chris Deisler's office raised $622.00 for the library's building project.
    10/29/96 Public meeting regarding the building project.
    11/25/96 Cooler Group estimate for remodeling the library:  
    $  145,000.00 Architectural engineering and interior design services
    $    18,000.00 Development of furnishings and accessories
    $2,000,000.00 Construction costs
    1/20/97 The board discussed the possibility of buying land within the city limits.
    3/17/97 Board discussion of buildings by Morton and consideration of moving the library out near Lakeland High School.
    5/15/97 Frances Prough and Mary Ball attended a library construction workshop at Huntington, Indiana.
    5/19/97 Jerry Grogg talked to the board about land for sale at the Farm Bureau, on the southeast side of LaGrange. Harriet Warren stated that the Methodist Church said that if we were interested in the church's lot one block south of the library, we could make an offer.
    10/20/97 The board discussed that a decision had to be made in the near future, either to stay at the present location or build a new library.
    12/9/97 Betty North, Loma Hoffman, Mary Ball, Sue Glick, Bob Yoder, Sandy Yoder, and Rex Fisher met to discuss the possibility of building on land that would be donated to the library and to the LaGrange County Historical Society.
    12/15/97 The board discussed the advantages and disadvantages of moving the library to the west edge of town, on US 20.
    3/16/98 The library board discussed having a workshop meeting to go over the Cooler Group plans.
    5/18/98 The library board workshop will be held June 8, 1998 at 3 p.m.
    6/8/98 The board decided to ask Rex Fisher to come to the regular board meeting and answer questions about the possibility of building a new library on his land.  Loma Hoffman, Tom Dunbar, Marilyn Lewis, Francis Prough, Chuck Christner, and Harriet Warren visited the site.
    6/15/98 Rex Fisher addressed the board with his thoughts about building a new library on land that he owns and is offering to deed to the LaGrange County Library.  He talked about the fact that there are presently no water or sewer lines there, and that a deceleration lane would be needed on both sides of US 20.  He suggested that a site committee be formed to check into other building sites and offered to speak to Major Tom Merritt from Howe, to see if he might be interested in serving on the committee.  The board agreed to this plan.
    7/13/98 The library board asked Mary Ball and Loma Hoffman to set up guidelines for a site committee.
    8/17/98 Several library patrons will be asked to be on the site committee along with board members Loma Hoffman and Chuck Christner.
    9/14/98 First site committee meeting.  Those present:  Loma Hoffman, Chuck Christner, Mary Ball, Merrily Hamp, Joy Sharp, and John Leu.  The committee looked over the map of LaGrange and discussed possible sites.
    10/19/98 Second site committee meeting.  Those present:  Loma Hoffman, Chuck Christner, Mary Ball, Mary Petersen, John Leu, and DeWayne Nodine (County Planner).  The committee discussed possible locations for a new library.  Loma suggested that the town council, county commissioners, county sheriff, city council, town chief of police, fire chief, county planner, and newly elected officials be invited to the next site committee meeting.  Letters would be sent out after the fall elections, with RSVP's requested.  John Leu will conduct the meeting.
    11/16/98 Third site committee meeting.  Those present:  Joy Sharp, John Leu, Mary Petersen, Chuck Christner, Loma Hoffman, Mary Ball, Jayne Merriman, Bernard Hoffman, Harold Gingerich, Mike Strawser, and Bob Schlemmer.  Discussion concerned the building of the new jail, the reconstruction of the sewer in LaGrange, the lack of parking around the library and other government buildings, and the possibility of either extending the library back to the fire station or removing the present jail and building there.
    1/18/99 Fourth site committee meeting.  Those present:  Merrily Hamp, Mary Petersen, Loma Hoffman, Chuck Christner, and Mary Ball.  John Leu and Joy Sharp were unable to attend.  Members present reviewed all possible sites around the town of LaGrange.  The consensus was to recommend the following at the next library board meeting:
    • Accept Rex Fisher's generous offer of land located at the west edge of LaGrange, on the south side of US 20.
    • Talk to Senators Meeks and Sturtz about "Build America Funds," which might help finance the building project.
    2/16/99 Library board meeting.  Loma Hoffman delivered the site committee's findings.  John Leu provided a large map of LaGrange, showing all available land.  The site committee had investigated all areas and found none that were centrally located.  The site committee recommended that Rex Fisher's gift of land be accepted.
    5/17/99 Library board meeting.  Rex Fisher presented to the board his gift of 3.5 acres of land for a library building site.  The board agreed to accept this gift with the understanding that soil testing would be done and a legal contract would be made that would be acceptable to both parties.
    5/26/99 Mary Ball met with Robbie Miller (Assistant Zoning Administrator) and was told that the land was in a B-1 zone and would need a land use variance.
    6/2/99 Mary Ball and Rex Fisher met with Sue Glick to discuss the legal contract between Rex and the library board. Rex presented his stipulations for the gift and Sue said there would be no problem with them; however, the land would have to be surveyed and sub-divided before an agreement could be signed.  Mary contacted Steve Ross to do the soil testing on or before June 21, 1999, and Ed Doyle to survey the land after the soil testing is done.
    6/9/99 Mary Ball and Rex Fisher met at the proposed building site to discuss with Bill Ponko from the Troyer Group the best possible location for the building.  Bill recommended that the surveyor draw a topographical map along with the survey, after the soil testing is done.
    9/14/99 The site plan and land use variance application were filed at the Plan Commission office.
    10/6/99 Loma Hoffman and Mary Ball filed an affidavit of Notice of Public Hearing to Adjacent Property Owners at the Plan Commission office.
    10/25/99 The Board on Zoning Appeals approved the land use variance.
    1/17/00 The library board received the survey of the proposed building site from Ed Doyle.  Jerry Grogg expressed to the board his concerns about building the library off US20 (accessibility for patrons who walk or bike to the library, children in particular).
    2/15/00 Received a letter from David Dixon, an architect with Schmidt Associates (formerly with The Cooler Group, Inc.) expressing his opinion that a new building is the library's best option.
    2/22/00 The library board received petitions against building the library off US 20 and listened to suggestions of other possible library sites.  They also heard citizens' concerns about the lack of parking, limited handicapped accessibility, and security issues that beset the present library building.
    3/20/00 An executive meeting was held at 4 p.m. to discuss possible members for the new library site committee.  Tom announced the names of the Library Building Site Committee 2000, the two board members being Loma Hoffman and Harriet Warren.  Other members:  John Leu, Jody Holsinger, Joe Billman, Jim Fisel, Merrily Hamp, Mary Catherine Petersen, and Robert Gunzenhauser.
    5/15/00 Rex Fisher spoke to the board about the future site of a new library.  He feels that his land on US 20 is still the most appropriate.  Bud Foltz, Jr. asked whether any decision has been made regarding the old jail site; if it were going to be made available.  Mary Ball stated that, as far as she knew at that time, no decision had been made.  She also stated that the Site Committee was still investigating all possible sites and would be making a report to the board at the next board meeting.
    6/12/00 Rex Fisher spoke to the board about the site of a new library.  He feels that his land on US 20 is still the most appropriate.  It was explained to him that the Site Committee had not yet made their recommendations.  They had more investigation to do on the three proposed sites:  Rex Fisher's land, Ray Culp's land, and the Fire Station.
    7/13/00 Harriet Warren reported the findings of the Library Building Site Committee 2000. She reviewed the guidelines that were followed in judging the three sites.  She stated the pros and cons of each site, as known at the time.  She explained that the committee was evenly split in their choice of sites, and could not make a positive recommendation for any one site.  (The Site Committee records are on file at the LaGrange County Library and the public may view them upon request.)  Discussion followed the report.  Marilyn Lewis made a motion that a decision be postponed until the price and affordability of each site could be determined.  There was no second to this motion.  Betty North then made a motion that Mary (Ball) Hooley should talk to several architects to get some idea of the cost per square foot of building either up or out, so that a site decision could be made at the next board meeting.  Harriet seconded the motion.  The motion carried.
    8/21/00 The library board received information from four different architectural firms, stating the advantages and disadvantages of each of the three possible building sites.  Questions were raised about soil testing, fire protection, and acceptability of water and sewer lines for a public building at the Culp site.  A motion to accept the land gift from Ray Culp died for lack of a second.  No further action was taken.
    9/15/00 The LaGrange County Commissioners, Town Board of LaGrange, and LaGrange County Library Board met to discuss plans for the county library.
    9/18/00 Library Board meeting.  Marilyn Lewis made a motion to gratefully decline Rex Fisher's gift of land and accept Ray Culp's gift of four acres on CR 50N for the new library site.  Betty North seconded the motion.  Motion carried 5 to 2.
    10/27/00 Mary, Loma, Marilyn, Frances, Harriet, and Deb visited the Noble County Library (Albion), the Peabody Library (Columbia City), and the North Manchester Library (North Manchester).  Information on architects and building designs was discussed throughout the day.
    11/13/00 The library board interviewed architects:
    • Schenkel Shultz
    • Martin Riley Mock.
    11/30/00 The library board interviewed architects:
    • Morrison Kattman Menze, Inc.
    • The Troyer Group
    • Moake Park Group
    1/4/01 Rick Stump from Schenkel/Schultz presented to the Board and public a one-floor outline for a new library on both the Culp and Fisher sites.
    1/9/01 SoilTesting, Inc. from Fort Wayne, IN did three soil borings on the Culp property.
    1/15/01 The Library Board narrowed their selection of architect firms down to Morrison Kattman Menze, Inc. and Moake Park Group from Fort Wayne, IN.
    1/16/01 Library Board workshop on evaluation and selection of an architect.
    3/19/01 George Morrison from Morrison Kattman Menze Inc. was hired as the architect for the building project.  Mary Miller, children's director, discussed the limitations of the present library facilities and how a new building would promote services and selection of materials.  Amanda Wisler, technology coordinator, presented information on planning the library's technology for the future and steps that will be taken to automate the library, branches, and bookmobile.
    4/16/01 Todd Samuelson from H.J. Umbaugh and Associates was hired by the library board as the financial advisor for the building project.  A letter was received from Edward J. Pilarski of the Wastewater Treatment Plant of LaGrange stating that the request for sanitary sewer service to the library building site on 50N has been approved.
    5/21/01 The library board decided to contract Soil Exploration Services from Fort Wayne, Indiana to do a Phase 1 Environmental Assessment on the library building site property on CR 50N.
    6/18/01 Phase 1 Environmental Assessment completed.
    7/19/01 The library board contacted Soil Exploration Services to do a Phase II Environmental Assessment.
    8/20/01 Soil Exploration Services completed Phase II Environmental Site Assessment. [All reports are at the main circulation desk for public viewing.]
    10/15/01 Rex Fisher offered an additional 0.2 acres of his land off SR 20, making a total of 4 acres offered.
    10/29/01 Library Board Workshop to review all land sites considered for new library.
    11/19/01 Board president Harriet Warren reviewed all possible building sites, including:
    • Land owned by Bob Lambright on the west side of Townline Road behind CVS and south of the golf course
    • A site owned by Betty Beiser on the east end of Michigan Street.
    The board learned of two new developments concerning the Culp Site:
    • Ray Culp has offered to pay $10,000 toward the cleanup of debris on the site.
    • An anonymous donor has offered to buy Lot 19, which adjoins the Culp site to the north, and donate the land to the library.
    12/17/01 The board voted to commit to the Culp site
    Public charrettes were held for the library building project.  The public, staff, and board were invited to offer suggestions.  Architects from the firm of Morrison, Kattman Menze Inc. guided the discussion and created floor plans and models based upon the input received.
    2/21/02 Morrison Kattman Menze delivered a report of charette attendees and input.
    4/29/02 Building Planning Committee Meeting - Minutes.
    5/20/02 The library board authorized preliminary determination to issue bonds.  Public hearing set for June 17, 2002 at 4:00 p.m. in the community room of the library.
    6/17/02 Public Hearing.
    7/15/02 The Library Board determined to issue bonds in the maximum of $5,700,000 for the purpose of building a new library.
    8/14/02 A remonstrance against the library building project was filed at the County Office Building.
    8/26/02 The remonstrance was certified by the County Auditor.
    9/5/02 An objection petition against the 2003 library budget was sent to the Library Board, the County Auditor, the County Council, and the County Commisioners.
    9/16/02 A response to the objection petition was given by the Library Board.
    Petitions for and against the library building project were circulated.
    12/3/02 The petitions were certified by the county auditor.  The remonstrance petition prevailed.
    12/16/02 The board received letters from representatives of the LaGrange Town Board and the LaGrange County Chamber of Commerce.  Harriet Warren announced the board's intention to hold continuing dialog with the people of LaGrange County.
    1/20/03 Harriet asked Debbie Gould, Steve McKowen, and Deb Shirar to meet with the Town of LaGrange and Ann Patka and Frances Prough to meet with the Chamber of Commerce to discuss possible solutions to the library's building project.  Each will report back to the library board.
    2/18/03 Voice of Choice requested a meeting with the library board.  Harriet, Deb, and Steve will meet with them on February 25, 2003.
    3/17/03 Harriet Warren reported on the meeting with Voice of Choice.  [See report.]
    3/31/03 A special public board meeting was held to express interest in properties that the town of LaGrange could possibly offer to the library.
    4/15/03 Harriet Warren sent a letter of intent to the Town of LaGrange.
    5/6/03 The Town of LaGrange sent a letter of reply.
    6/16/03 Pre-need assessment completed by library board.
    6/24/03 Letters were sent to seven possible facilitators, asking whether they would be interested in doing a countywide needs assessment for the library board.
    8/24/03 By this date, the library board had received letters from all seven possible facilitators, stating that they would not be able to do a countywide needs assessment and stating the reasons why.  All correspondence is archived with the library board minutes for public viewing.
    10/7/03 A public brainstorming meeting was held at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the main library.  [See report.]
    11/17/03 The library board hired Criterium Van Marter Engineers of Indianapolis to perform a building evaluation and capital fund study.
    3/26/04 At a 6:00 p.m. board meeting, Robb Van Marter of Criterium Van Marter Engineers presented the results of the building evaluation and capital fund study, which they recently completed. Click here to read the study results.   [Requires Adobe Reader.]
    5/17/04 The library board hired a facilitator, Kevin Deary from the Indiana Youth Institute, to develop a road map for library development, conduct personal interviews with LaGrange County citizens, and present this information to the board.
    11/9/04 Kevin Deary completed his report.
    12/7/04 The first task force meeting was held at the library with Kevin Deary. 
    1/11/05 The LaGrange Library Task Force met and set a timeline.
    5/10/05 The task force mailed a survey to all residents of LaGrange County.
    8/15/05 The task force delivered its report and recommendations to the library borad of trustees.
    9/19/05 Debra Close, the Chief Operating Officer of the Parkview/LaGrange Hospital, and Ann Kadish spoke at the public library board meeting concerning future plans of building a new hospital.  Debra stated that it would be at least 36 months after ground breaking took place.  At present, a site has not been decided upon.  No plans have been made for the 13 acres of land and the present building.  It will take 3 to 5 years before the new hospital would be operational.  The library board confirmed this period of time was too long for the library to wait to begin a project.  Appreciation was expressed by the board for Parkview attending the meeting and informing them of their plans.
    8/15/05 The library board selected Mr. Bob Murphy of R.P. Murphy and Associates as the grant writer for the community focus fund grant.
    12/19/05 The library board received a letter from Parkview LaGrange Hospital.  At this time, the hospital is not ready to make a decision regarding sale of the hospital building and/or grounds.
    1/26/06 Request for qualification to architects for planning grant.
    2/21/06 Real Estate Purchase Agreement with Town of LaGrange was discussed and approved by the library board.
    3/20/06 Phase I Environmental Site Assessment completed.  See attached letter.  A complete copy of this study is available at the LaGrange County Public Library.

    Timeline for the Planning Grant and List of Architectural Firms that submitted requests for qualifications: See attached.

    1. Holzheimer Bolek Architects, LLC, Chagrin Falls, OH
    2. Morrison Kattman Menze, Inc., Fort Wayne
    3. MSKTD & Associates Inc., Fort Wayne
    4. Martin Riley Mock, Fort Wayne
    5. The Moake Park Group, Fort Wayne
    6. Vintage Archonics, Fort Wayne
    7. Kelty Tappy Design, Inc., Fort Wayne
    8. Veazey Parrott Durkin & Shoulders, Indianapolis
    9. Grinsfelder Associates Architects, Fort Wayne
    10. Van Dyke Architects LLC, Cleveland, OH
    All requests for qualifications from these architectural firms are available at the LaGrange County Public Library.
    3/30/06 The library board agreed to schedule interviews with the following firms for April 13, 2006 at 5:00 p.m.:
    4/13/06 The four architectural firms were given fifteen minutes to present their qualifications and how they would proceed with the library project, followed by another fifteen minutes of questions and comments by both the library board and the public.  Each firm presented practical information on how to engage the county to become involved in the library project.  Ideals of interaction, agreement, consensus, county meetings, charrettes, study of options, grants, and public participation were covered throughout the firms' presentations.

    After discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each firm, the board asked Bob Murphy to begin the negotiation contract with Kelty Tappy Design, Inc. from Fort Wayne, Indiana.

    6/19/06 Public hearing at the LaGrange County building.  At that time, the County Commissioners signed papers so that the County could apply for a Planning Grant on behalf of the library.
    10/16/06 Mary received notice from Bob Murphy that the planning grant had been awarded to the library.
    10/24/06 The Feasibility Study's "Grand Opening" at the library annex.  Kelty Tappy Design, Inc. discusses in moderate detail the scope and purpose of the study, its dynamics, the involvement of the public, and the desired nature of the outcome.
    11/2/06 Urban Design Public Charette at Library Annex.
    11/9/06 Building Design Public Charrette at Library Annex.
    11/16/06 Building Infrastructure Public Charrette at Library annex.
    12/18/06 Public hearing with the LaGrange County Commissioners concerning a grant from the Community Focus Fund of the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant program.
    12/21/06 Final draft of the LaGrange County Public Library feasibility study presented by Kelty Tappy Design, Inc.  [Requires Adobe Reader.]
    2/20/07 The Architect Committee recommended interviewing two firms:  Kelty Tappy Design, Inc. and Veazey Parrott Durkin & Shoulders. The library board voted to interview both.
    3/6/07 The Architect Committee compiled a list of questions for Kelty Tappy Design, Inc. and Veazey Parrott Durkin & Shoulders to complete.
    3/9/07 Andy Fish called and declined the interview on behalf of Veazey Parrott Durkin & Shoulders.
    3/12/07 The Architect Committee discussed the following architectural firms: The questionnaire compiled on 3/6/2007 will be sent to each firm.   The Library Board and the Architect Committee will meet on 4/10/2007 at 5:45 p.m. to discuss the completed questionaires.  They will then decide which of the four firms to interview.
    4/10/07 The Library Board and Architect Committee reviewed and discussed completed questionnaires.  Arkos Design, Inc. and Kelty Tappy Designs were invited for interviews on May 1, 2007.
    5/7/07 The Library Board selected Kelty Tappy Design, Inc. as the architect firm for the building project.
    6/28/07 Projected Area Needs and Cost Study presented to the LaGrange County Library Board. [Requires Adobe Reader.]
    10/23/07 Board hired Bill Eberhard for library legal council.
    12/11/07 Board hired Beers Mallers Backs & Salin for their bond council.  Also the board signed the Interlocal Cooperation Agreement with the Town of Topeka and agreed to pay the Town $120,000 for the property that will be the future site of the Topeka Branch Library.
    3/19/08 Board hired H.J. Umbaugh & Associates for their financial advisor.
    3/24/08  The deed for property from the Town of Topeka was filed at the LaGrange County Building.  [Requires Adobe Reader.]
    4/16/08 Library board agreed to publish in the LaGrange Standard and News advertisement for bids. [Requires Adobe Reader.]
    5/19/08 Bids were opened by the Library Board during a special session at the Topeka Town Hall. the Base Bid amounts ranged from a high of $1,420,000 to a low of $1,030,890 with the three lowest Base Bid amounts within $14,000 (1.5%) of each other.

    From lowest to highest, Base Bid amounts are:
    Landmark Builders (Shipshewana) $1,030,890
    Schenkel & Sons, Inc. (Fort Wayne) $1,040,000
    DietzenBrugger (LaGrange) $1,044,985
    Michael Kinder & Sons (Fort Wayne) $1,103,500
    Schrock Commercial (Goshen) $1,109,000
    Milestone Construction (Syracuse) $1,125,000
    Ancon Construction (Goshen) $1,129,000
    Hamilton Hunter Builders (Fort Wayne) $1,221,200
    Brown & Brown (Elkhart) $1,242,200
    Casteel Corporation (South Bend) $1,420,000

    5/21/08 Kelty Tappy Design recommendation.  Library Board asked Kelty Tappy Design, Inc. to research references and related projects with Landmark Builders. 
    5/31/08 A ground breaking ceremony was held at the Topeka Branch building site.  It was followed by a fundraiser at which $15,631.00 was raised.  Click here to see photos.
    8/6/2008 Contract was awarded to Landmark Builders to construct the Topeka Branch Library.
    8/18/2008 Construction begins at the Topeka site.
    9/23/2008 The library began accepting bids for:
    • Exterior Signage
    • Furniture
    • Security
    • Technology / Data / Voice
    10/15/2008 Library board approves lowest bids: Click here to view bids.
    12/15/2008 Landmark Builders delivered a revised construction schedule.
    2/19/2009 Library Board reaches consensus on reduced project cost.
    Library summary of public meeting at the three school corporations in LaGrange County. [Original version is in PowerPoint 2007 format. For a PowerPoint 97-2003 compatible version, click here.]
    4/13/2009 LaGrange County Council approves the Library to issue General Obligation Bonds.  Click here to read the resolution.
    4/15/2009 Public Hearing for preliminary determination to issue bonds.  Click here to read the resolution.
    5/28/2009 Library receives petition [106 certified property owners] from LaGrange County Clerk's office for remonstrance against building project.
    6/17/2009 The Board of Trustees of the LaGrange County Public Library Resolution No. 2009-6-17. [Requires Adobe Reader.]
    9/30/2009 The architects for the building project at LaGrange will be Zach Evans and Jeremy DeKyk from Kelty Tappy Design, INC.
    10/21/2009 Library board approved a bond for $8,205,000.00 to fund the Library building project in LaGrange.  [Requires Adobe Reader.]
    12/16/2009 Bonds purchased by Wells-Fargo.  (Date of delivery: 12/30/2009.) [Requires Adobe Reader.]
    2/26/2010 Opening of the bids. Click here to view the bid tabulation form.
    3/17/2010 The library board hired Shawnee Construction of Ft. Wayne with all 10 alternates for $4,557,770 as the General Contractor.
    4/5/2010 Library opened at temporary location: 1200 N. Detroit St. 
    Construction began at main site.
    9/16/2010 Library Board was issued $705,000 bond, Series A for the purpose of paying the remaining costs of acquiring property, constructing, extending, altering, improving, remodeling, and equipping the addition to and renovations of the main branch of the LaGrange County Public Library and to pay costs of issuance. 
    The Library was issued the Series B Bonds [$810,000.00] to refund the outstanding Bond Anticipation Notes of 2009 (the "BANs") dated August 7, 2009, and to pay all associated interest expense, and cost of issuance for the Topeka Branch Library.
    2/3/2011 The Library Board accepted the following bids: Board rejected bids on:

    The Library Board accepted the following bids:
    7/30/2011 Celebration of Newly Remodeled LaGrange County Public Library.
    8/1/2011 First day open for operation.