News and Tribune

Clark County

October 13, 2009

Carnegie Library foundation still searching for tenants

Repair work recently completed

Months after the departure of the Remnant Trust, officials say they’re still searching for the right tenant for Jeffersonville’s Carnegie Library building.

The 105-year-old building is located off Court Avenue in Warder Park. The trust — a collection of rare, and in some cases, ancient books and manuscripts — left in April after ongoing disputes over climate control and other issues.

Repairs related to January’s ice storm were recently finished, and some added cleanup tied to the trust’s departure have been completed in the last few weeks, said Tom Lindley, chairman of the Carnegie Library Foundation. The foundation oversaw $4 million in renovations to the building a few years ago — just before the trust moved in.

Lindley said the next entity to occupy the building has to be a great asset for the community, very involved in local affairs and have the “financial wherewithal” to occupy the building.

He indicated that a nonprofit agency would be preferable, however he noted, “sometimes with nonprofits [financial stability] can be a little challenging.

Lindley noted that the trust paid only $1 per year on its lease. However, he said, there are other costs — such as basic maintenance, heating and air conditioning and security — that have to be considered.

Last year, just after the trust left, there had been talk of possibly using the building as a Clark County museum. Lindley addressed that, saying the building doesn’t have the needed open space for a museum.

The library has not sat completely vacant since the trust left. Leadership Southern Indiana used it for an event recently; the Carnegie Library Foundation has used it for a function; and Ivy Tech Community College has plans to do the same, he said.

Jeffersonville Mayor Tom Galligan said he’d like seeing an educational organization take over there.

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