TIM VANDENACK, standard examiner
KAYSVILLE – The old Kaysville Library building, the center of demolition talks, is on a standstill, at least for now.
While the Utah Department of Transportation worked on plans to redevelop Main Street, Mayor Katie Witt, in particular, offered to raze the 77-year-old structure to make way for a public gathering place and to open more parking space. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but has remained largely vacant and unused, unfit for occupancy due to structural issues, according to a 2018 engineering report.
“We have to either put money in it or get it out of its misery,” Witt said. The future of the old building at 44 Main Street in Kaysville’s main shopping area has been the subject of intermittent debate for years.
Many tout the building as central to the city’s history, and after public outcry, officials reached a consensus at a Kaysville city council meeting on Thursday to delay the demolition, for now. The building, completed in 1944, has a distinctive stone exterior and had originally served as a municipal building and health center for Kaysville before being turned into a library.
“We have saved the building, for now,” said Judy Rigby, a member of the Kaysville-Fruit Heights Museum of History and Art and a supporter of saving the structure. “Hurray, hurray, hurray!”
TIM VANDENACK, standard examiner
Witt, whose term ends next January, said the issue would likely be a priority for the city’s next roster of officials. She is not seeking re-election in the municipal elections which will culminate in November. Key to the efforts, which will involve City Councilor John Adams and museum officials, among others, will identify potential sources of money to rehabilitate the building.
Previous studies have put the cost of renovating the building at $ 2 million, according to Witt, extra money the city does not have. Either way, Rigby senses a will in the town to preserve it.
“It takes work. He needs money. But it is certainly not a building that needs to be demolished, ”she said. “I think there are enough people in Kaysville who support the building that it would be missing when it left that we can get support. “
An online petition on Change.org to save the library had collected nearly 900 signatures by Friday afternoon. Margaret Brough, a developer of the building, cited its age and distinguishing features for the community support the structure has received.
“It’s probably the oldest building in Kaysville that’s of any significance. It’s part of our heritage, ”said Brough.
Rigby said museum developers will have 18 months to examine the problem and come up with a potential plan to rehabilitate the structure.
Either way, the structure has problems. It sits next to the Kaysville Civic Center, which houses most of the city’s functions and underwent a $ 4.8 million upgrade completed last year. The current structure of the town hall has a stone facade, like the neighboring old library.
The lack of an overhang from the roof allows water to flow along the stone facade of the old library, “seeping into the mortar joints and permeating the walls,” the report noted. engineering survey of 2018. “Numerous areas of loose rock have been observed.”
In addition, according to the report, the building has “little capacity” to withstand an earthquake.
“Due to the significant shortcomings and associated required modernization, it is recommended that serious consideration be given to the demolition of this structure and the construction of a new facility,” the report from ESI Engineering of Salt Lake City read.