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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