Building Project Relevant Studies

2008: Library Building and Services Study

Reviewed and analyzed the existing facility, gathering input and data from 1,000 Appleton area residents via online surveys, direct mail, focus groups and personal interviews. The study recommended a construction of a new facility as “the best option in terms of delivering maximum efficiency and the amenities most desired by the public.”

The 2008 study also:
• Rejected branch libraries due to “increased operational costs and the need to duplicate core services.”
• Recommended expanding public meeting spaces with access after-hours to satisfy current and future demand.
• Recommended short-term projects including installing RFID technology, upgrading technological infrastructure and replacing furniture. All short-term recommendations were implemented.


2009: Library Program Design Study

The study created a detailed inventory and road map of the library facility using the goals of the 2008 Building and Services study. The results of the study were tested with conceptual designs for both a new facility and an expansion of the current facility. The final recommendation in the 2009 program design study was construction of a new facility.


2011: City Facilities Master Plan 

Looked at the needs of the Washington Square area.


2012-2013: Community-Based Planning Defining Mission, Vision and Strategic Priorities

Completed a community-based library planning process. The process included:

• 20 Community Conversations focus groups with 140 participants.
• Two public presentations by experts in the fields of urban planning and visioning.
• SWOT Analysis identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
• Staff presentations about the future of library services.
• A ten-member Community Advisory Committee defined vision and strategies for the future.

The planning process resulted in a strategic plan leading us well into the 21st century.


2013: Washington Square Master Planning Study

Identified several possible scenarios to improve delivery of services and maximize city assets in the Washington Square neighborhood. Identified next steps:

• Determine library direction, location and schedule.
• Evaluate “blue” ramp timeline and location.
• Provide a traffic study based on the final Washington Square proposal.


2014-2015: Library Needs Assessment, Site Selection and Pre-Funding Schematic Design

Evaluated and ranked sites for vetting as a potential location for a new or renovated library. Top sites were evaluated with blocking and stacking diagrams and final site was developed in more detail to provide cost estimates.

Friends of APL completed a feasibility study for a capital campaign based on the site/concept. Council voted down acquiring the proposed site.


2015: Downtown Parking Study

Evaluated parking needs throughout downtown.


2016:  Update to City’s Comprehensive Plan

Included a re-write of downtown chapter. Mixed-use development and the library were priorities.


2016: Downtown Mobility Study

Addressed many downtown mobility needs. Recommended changes including re-establishing the north/south grid on Appleton and Oneida Streets.


2018: Request for Proposal Process for Mixed-Use Library

City and library staff created a request for proposals for a mixed-use library facility. Staff selected Commercial Horizons proposal for a mixed-use library on the current site of Soldier’s Square Parking Ramp. Staff worked with architects to develop schematic design to determine feasibility and cost. Process was put on hold in September 2018 due to potential barriers regarding a parking solution.


2020:  Library Project Planning Resumes on Current Site

The city moves forward with developing a request for proposal for architectural and engineering work for the renovation of, addition to, and/or replacement of APL on its current site. The city is also developing neighborhood-level planning to utilize both public and private resources to produce broad economic effects and create a vibrant and sustainable neighborhood in the library area.


2021:  City Awards Design and Engineering Contract to Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

The City of Appleton Common Council awards a contract to Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) for design and engineering services for the Appleton Public Library at its current location.