MARSHALL - With the Marshall-Lyon County Library moved into its new building, the Marshall City Council will be turning its attention next week to selling the vacant former library building at the corner of 3rd Street and Lyon Street.
A special meeting of the city council will be held Tuesday for prospective buyers to give their proposals for the 1968 building. Marshall City Administrator Ben Martig said the city received a total of four proposals from parties interested in purchasing the building, and two finalists, Marshall Public Schools and the Lyon County Historical Society, were selected to present their plans to the council.
Marshall Public Schools Business Director Bruce Lamprecht said Thursday that the school district was interested in buying the former library as a location for Marshall East Campus Learning Alternatives. Representatives from the district will give a presentation at Tuesday's meeting.
"We had looked at the building a number of times," Lamprecht said, and the school board approved the submission of a proposal. Lamprecht said the district is considering the long-term benefits of owning versus leasing a campus for its alternative school, and the former library building "could lend itself well" to becoming an educational space.
MECLA is currently located at the Market Street Mall.
Members of the Lyon County Historical Society said they would like to make the former library into a permanent home for the Lyon County Historical Museum. The library building's 20,000 square feet of space would offer more room for exhibits than its current location on Main Street, without being "too much to handle," said society president Neal Ingebrigtson.
Historical society members said the extra space would not only allow the museum to take many artifacts out of storage, but it would offer a chance to rotate exhibits and develop new ones focusing on recent history and more Lyon County communities. Having a permanent facility would also make the museum eligible for more grant funding, they said.
Ingebrigtson said the historical society hopes to be able to purchase the building with money in the organization's building fund.
Martig said it's not certain that the council will reach a decision on the sale of the building Tuesday, although it might be possible. The council could also have the option of going into closed session if it wished to discuss price matters, he said.
In addition to hearing from the school district and historical society, Martig said the council might also receive additional information from Marshall Public Works Director Glenn Olson. If the old library were to be used as a school, it would have to meet sprinkler system requirements that would mean upgrades to the building's water hookup, he said.
The special meeting to discuss proposals for the old library will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, in the Professional Development room at Marshall Middle School.