Another Chapter: Study Suggests Renovating, Adding to Eau Claire’s Library

A consulting firm hired to study the future of the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library has recommended that the 41-year-old downtown building be renovated and possibly expanded or even replaced.

The space needs analysis by Zimmerman Architectural Studios of Milwaukee was presented to the Eau Claire City Council on Aug. 7, but the recommendations aren’t likely to be acted on immediately. Options proposed in the report range from a renovation alone (costing $8.3 million and $9 million) to renovating and expanding the library (between $9.5 million and $20 million, depending on the scope) to building a new, 100,000-square-foot library for as much as $29 million.

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St. Ann Center Plans to Build Outdoor Entertainment Venue

St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care has announced plans to turn a vacant lot on Milwaukee’s north side into an outdoor community arts and entertainment venue.

The organization plans to redevelop a two-block parcel belonging to St. Ann Center’s Bucyrus Campus, 2450 W. North Ave., into a space that will include a band shell and audience area, according to a news release.

First, the site will undergo a major soil cleanup, in which dirt affected by petroleum-based pollutants and metals will be excavated and trucked to a landfill.

The soil remediation project is receiving $147,000 in grants from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and $400,000 in U.S. EPA Brownfields Cleanup Grants, the release said.

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Potawatomi Hotel + Casino Second Hotel Tower

The Milwaukee Common Council unanimously approved a host of real estate projects yesterday. Included in the lengthy list were a new hotel tower in the Menomonee Valley, a new coffee shop for the East Side, a zoning change for an apartment building on E. North Ave., a new apartment building and plans for single-family homes in Bay View, a series of small changes to a controversial downtown building and a new park for the Historic Third Ward.

The council had a number of projects before them because the meeting was the last one scheduled before the August council recess.

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