The City is asking residents permission to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $8.5 million for the purpose of designing, constructing, equipping and furnishing a new library; and repurposing, equipping and furnishing the existing Kirkendall Public Library building into office space and its associated parking lot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we need a new library?
The current library was built in 1996 to serve a population of 20,000 people. Today, Ankeny has more than 60,000 residents and the current space is not large enough to meet the needs of our current population with books, programming or resources. Public libraries do so much more than just loan books. But even with innovative adult and youth programs, educational outreach initiatives and helpful electronic resources, the Ankeny library’s annual statistics indicate that patrons are still looking to their local library for a good read. The library has become a destination place where individuals and small groups come to work on projects, and for large groups to find adequate meeting space. In this age of instant information, the library still provides and directs people to reliable resources. The library has kept pace with technology changes and has even been on the cusp of new trends. It offers WIFI, computer access, 24/7 virtual access to e-Books and digital materials, printing, digitization equipment and even a 3-D printer. The Ankeny library is a community center of learning experience and entertainment, interaction and connection.
Where will the new library be located?
The new library will be located in The District at Prairie Trail. View the library map.
How will the project be funded?
The new library with council chambers and repurposed Kirkendall Public Library building will be funded with $8.5 million of bond proceeds (of which $3.05 million will be repaid with current lease payments), $5 million from the Capital Projects Reserve Fund and $11.5 million from the Civic Trust Fund. Total cost for these projects is $25 million.
What will the new library look like?
- Two story building, approximately 50,000 square feet
- Building will include new council chambers, available for the community to use
- View the library rendering
What else will the new library offer?
• Designed as a community gathering space
• Overall space will double in size
• More meeting space and quiet rooms
• Council Chambers will be available to public when not in use by the city
Will the new library offer improved parking?
Yes! The new library will have 242 city-owned parking stalls.
What is the construction timeline?
If approved on May 2, the new library will open in 2019.
Why are you moving the Council Chambers out of City Hall?
City Council made this decision based on the results of a comprehensive Facilities Needs Study that assessed the condition, economic feasibility and present/future capacity needs of its civic buildings. Ten different plans were vetted over a year-long process and Council found this plan to best serve the needs of the community. This study determined that the current Council Chambers are not large enough to serve a city with a population of 60,000+.
The City plans to maximize the use of the new library by allowing the Council Chambers and conference rooms to be used by the public when not in use by the City.
Why does the City need to repurpose the Kirkendall Library building into office space for City employees?
The Kirkendall Public Library located at 1210 NW Prairie Ridge Drive will be renovated and repurposed into office space for Municipal Utilities, Parks & Recreation, Planning and Building, and Public Works employees. These employees are currently housed in leased office space. As identified in the Facility Needs Study, relocating these departments allows the City to terminate leases for two office buildings, saving more than $3.05 million over the term of the bonds.
How was the location selected for the new library?
City Council made this decision based on the results of a comprehensive Facilities Needs Study that assessed the condition, economic feasibility and present/future capacity needs of its civic buildings. Ten different plans were vetted over a year-long process and Council found this plan to best serve the needs of the community.
In addition, City Council made a commitment to the Prairie Trail master developer to have a civic presence in Prairie Trail. As part of that agreement, the master developer created a Civic Trust Fund to support city projects built within the Prairie Trail development. The City and master developer have negotiated $11.5 million from the Civic Trust Fund to be directed to the library. The Civic Trust Fund would not be available as a funding source if the City chose to build outside of Prairie Trail.
Will the proposed library be built big enough to support our continually growing community?
The proposed new library and Council chambers, at more than 50,000 square feet, was designed to serve Ankeny for many years. It will serve a population of more than 100,000. According to our latest population projections, which take into consideration Ankeny’s very recent frenetic growth, Ankeny would reach 100,000 in population between 2030 and 2035. It is likely the library would continue to serve Ankeny well beyond that point, as designing flexible spaces allows the City to adjust to current trends as library uses evolve. That said, the property the City would acquire would allow for future expansion of the building, either for a library or other purposes, up to 100,000 square feet total. The associated parking will also accommodate expansion to a 100,000 square foot building with heavy public use. The City, in its planning, wanted to ensure it would not be landlocked in case future leaders decide there is a need for expansion.
What is your staffing plan for the new library?
Operating costs, including additional staffing, will be incorporated into the FY 2019 General Fund budget and future General Fund budgets. New staff will be covered within existing resources and there will not be a tax increase to pay for staff.
What happens if the referendum does not pass?
If the referendum does not pass, a new library will not be built and residents will continue to use the Kirkendall Public Library as it is today.
Do you have more questions about this project?
Send us an email and we will get back to you!