Eau Claire library to begin construction on expansion

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WKBT) — The Eau Claire library launched the next phase of its $18.5 million expansion project Wednesday and construction will begin in the next few days.

The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire and its Story Builder expansion campaign is moving forward with Market & Johnson as the contractor.

Library Deputy Director Shelly Collins-Fuerbringer has coordinated many aspects of the expansion project over the past year. She says, “We’ve been drawing and re-drawing expansion plans for so long, it’s just so exciting to have construction about to begin. But the truly exciting part is in how this project will impact the community and how much more value we’ll be able to provide. And on top of that, I’m just in awe over how much work we’ve done to make this happen. We moved the whole library, and it took a great team to do that.”

All of the library’s books, materials, computers, and equipment have been moved to the new facility and staff is currently setting up the space, located at 2725 Mall Drive.

The new location is scheduled to open in mid-May.

The library expansion project is made possible through a combination of public and private funding. The city of Eau Claire is investing $11.5 million to renovate the building and repair a number of its failing mechanical systems.

Meanwhile, the Story Builder capital campaign has been collecting private donations, with a goal of $7 million to expand the library’s physical space. Between the public funding and the Story Builder campaign (currently at $6,343,226), the project has reached 96.5% of its total goal of $18.5 million.