The Westfield City Council approved a more than $16 million bond for the Westfield Washington Public Library to construct a new building in downtown Westfield, and now Westfield Washington Schools is expressing interest in purchasing the library’s current building at 333 Hoover St.
The current building and accompanying 2.63-acre parcel originally belonged to the school district and was purchased by WWPL in 1983 to build the library.
“We’ve been in conversation with the library for months,” WWS Supt. Paul Kaiser stated. “This property sits in the middle of our school campus, and with how fast Westfield is growing, it just makes sense to reabsorb it for additional educational opportunities.”
The WWS school board unanimously approved a resolution that gives it permission to start discussing a purchase agreement with the library. A recent appraisal estimated the property’s value at $3.85 million. While the resolution does not obligate the school district to buy the property, it does lock in the price and prevents the library board from selling the building to anyone else.
“This resolution really just allows us to continue the conversation,” WWS Board President Jimmy Cox stated. “We would need to bring back a more formal purchase agreement to the school board for final approval.”
Before the board can vote on a formal purchase agreement, the WWPL board must finalize its purchase of the new property at Westfield Boulevard and Park Street and put the project out to bid. The process could take another 12 to 18 months.
“We’re thrilled to put this building back in the hands of the school district and to continue our longstanding relationship in newer and stronger ways,” WWPL Director Sheryl Sollars stated. “It’s truly a win-win for the entire community and a project everyone can support.”