Officials Unveil New Design For Library

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Rim country residents can get a peek at what the new Payson Public Library will look like following the release of initial schematic plans.

Library and town officials and staff met Tuesday with project architect Larry Enyart, FAIA, of Lawrence Enyart Architects of Phoenix, to review plans for the new library building. They made a few minor changes, but those at the meeting said they were pleased with Enyart's initial plans.

The architect suggests a 16,000-square-foot building that can accommodate additions. The initial plans include a stone feature wall with openings and room for displays and north-facing glass to allow for a lot of natural light. Enyart said the two levels of the building should fit in well with the natural features at Rumsey Park.

"The initial review we had was pretty well received," Mayor Vern Stiffler said Thursday. He said the town needs to look at sources of funding to build the library in Rumsey Park.

The project has been budgeted at $2 million for construction and $80,000 for architectural costs. The Friends of the Library have set aside another $170,000 for furnishings. Town Manager Rich Underkofler said the construction costs are subject to change.

"We want some public input on this. This is a really important part of the project on what it will look like," Stiffler said.

Judy Buettner, Library Friends of Payson president, said the Library Policy Committee felt the plans reflect the direction given Enyart to build a high-quality facility that is basic, but flexible.

Buettner said the proposed building "will meet the essential needs of the community with multiple uses, and will reflect the uniqueness of Payson."

Enyart said Thursday that he is working on updating the plans based on suggestions he received at the first meeting.

He described the plan as having a pitched metal roof that incorporates stone work in a feature wall. "Many buildings in Payson have stone work," he said. "We felt it was a part of Payson's design."

"The building functionally has elements necessary for a library," he said. "For the community, it features a multi-purpose room that can be used for many events." The room seats from 130 to 150 people, fewer if both tables and chairs are used.

Buettner said the committee will review the schematic plans further and may seek to make a few minor changes.

The committee is asking for input from the community and will have the plans available at the Payson Library for review. Those wishing to do so may take a set of plans home. The plans and comments will be returned to the library.

"It's a fun and exciting building," Enyart said. "It should sit pretty well in Rumsey Park."

"I think we're on the right track on this," Stiffler said.

The committee meets again May 25 with Enyart to finalize the project.

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