GALLIPOLIS — Bossard Memorial Library will potentially be seeing a new parking lot a short jog from its main building as the library’s programming efforts grow and traffic becomes tighter with more patrons frequenting.
According to Library Director Debbie Saunders, the Willis Tire facility was purchased by the library in August for around $840,000 along First Avenue. City officials briefly discussed zoning concerns at the Tuesday meeting of the Gallipolis City Commission.
“It’s about seven parcels,” said Saunders. “It’s everything owned by Willis on the 700 block…Those who’ve attended public programs (at Bossard) know the library needs additional parking. Just like the (Gallia Chamber of Commerce Awards Ceremony), Bodies Revealed and our children’s programs. It was a natural fit for us to gain some parking in close proximity to our parking area.”
Saunders said the library was informed by city zoning officials that the Willis Tire property is currently zoned as a light industrial area.
“Well, for a public library that should be zoned as neighborhood commercial,” said Saunders. “We’re just going through the process to make sure we take care of that now because initially that area will be used for parking and then down the line, at some point in time, the board and administration are planning for what else could develop on that property.”
Saunders said the board and administration are looking to make a parking lot but may examine additional uses for the property in the future.
Bossard has become a common meeting location with organizations throughout the community due in part to its Riverside Room opening in 2015. The space has served thousands as an exhibition site for the nationally-recognized Bodies Revealed exhibit, shows with the Newport Aquarium, lectures and community events.
Upcoming events for the library will feature children’s literature character Pete The Cat on National Take your Child to the Library Day on Feb. 3 from 2 to 4 p.m. with games, stories and crafts to be featured. A pet first-aid lecture will be given Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. to give owners quick triage tips on emergency scenario problems.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.