These proposed designs for a Republic library expansion present an option for demolishing the current building (A) and renovating it (B and C). The Springfield-Greene County Library District Board of Trustees chose option A during a meeting Tuesday. (Illustration by Shannon Cay)

To read this story, please sign in with your email address and password.

You've read all your free stories this month. Subscribe now and unlock unlimited access to our stories, exclusive subscriber content, additional newsletters, invitations to special events, and more.


When a construction manager at risk is chosen in late March to start building an expansion of Republic’s library, the manager will be asked to prepare plans to either replace the current building or add to it. 

The Springfield-Greene County Library District Board of Trustees on March 19 approved designs for an expansion of the Republic branch at its current site, located at 921 N. Lindsay Ave. 

The decisions occurred during the board’s regular meeting, held in the Ash Grove Branch. It will meet next Tuesday at The Library Station to choose a construction manager at risk for the project. Crossland Construction, Branco Enterprises and Nabholz Construction have been selected as finalists for that position.

The two approvals essentially eliminate the possibility of construction of a new library near Brookline, just west of the interchange of James River Freeway and U.S. Highway 60. 

Two renovation options combined into one

Jared Younglove, technical director for Paragon Architecture, presented the same three options to the full library board that he showed to its Building and Grounds Committee the week prior. Given the option of either choosing one option or all three to present to the future construction manager, the board mashed two options for adding a building into one. 

• With an 8-1 vote, the board approved consideration of a 12,500-square foot building and renovation of the existing 10,000-square-foot building. The motion made by Trustee Christopher Bozarth called for a new building designed with a northeastern shift found in a Paragon Architecture proposal, but without a geometric roof design included in the proposal. Trustee David Yancey cast the lone dissenting vote. 

• With a 9-0 vote, the board also approved a design that called for a new 20,000-square-foot building, and the demolition of the current building for greenspace. The motion was made by Yancey, who also made an addition motion to eliminate the board’s first vote, but it died without a second from another trustee.

The Republic Branch Library offers many resources to its patrons. Growth plans call for a bigger community room, but a location has not yet been decided. (Photo by Joe Hadsall)

Time is an issue for the library's governing board to make a decision on the Republic project. Younglove said a choice needs to be made by April 15 in order to allow for proper design and bid procedures. The library has been allocated $4.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money, which needs to be obligated by the end of 2024, or it will be returned to the federal government. 

Overall development cost is also an issue. The library district is planning for a $10 million project — in order to include costs for design, furniture, contingencies and other needs, the board is targeting a building cost of about $6 million. 

All three of the options presented in mid-March had cost estimates over that target, ranging from about $6.3 million for renovated options to about $7.1 million for an all-new building. It is hoped that a construction manager can find ways to lower the overall cost of an improved Republic library. 

Springfield-Greene County Library Interim Director Jim Schmitt said at the onset of discussion March 19 that narrowing down options as much as possible would help the incoming construction manager. 

Kassi Glassman (right), of Ash Grove, shows a book she enjoyed reading to employee Emily Reeves on Aug. 3 in the Republic Branch Library. (Photo by Joe Hadsall)

“The board needs to nail that option down relatively quickly, so that when we bring the CMR in, they’ll be able to have a running start and say this is the plan we’re going to go with,” Schmitt said during the meeting. “They can get a number of factors more quickly.”

During last week’s committee meeting, Younglove said that renovating the building led to an overall cheaper cost over all-new construction. Additionally, the higher costs of the all-new building may require its size to be reduced.

But board members were not yet ready to rule out a plan for building a completely new library, and to have a construction manager determine a more detailed estimate. 

Joe Hadsall

Joe Hadsall is the education reporter for the Hauxeda. Hadsall has more than two decades of experience reporting in the Ozarks with the Joplin Globe, Christian County Headliner News and 417 Magazine. Contact him at (417) 837-3671 or More by Joe Hadsall