Crews move Olson Memorial Library to temporary locationSubmitted: 10/08/2015
EAGLE RIVER - As shelves, books and DVDs all disappear, Olson Memorial Library Director Nan Andrews finds herself in a strange place.

"It's very odd to see people come up and have to walk away," Andrews said.

Andrews is used to welcoming people to the Olson Memorial Library. But this week, the library is closed and on the move.

"Really, a very nice, remarkable building and structurally, architecturally a very beautiful place," Andrews said.  "But we've outgrown it."

The library was finished in 1979. Its approximately 8,000 square feet were plenty of space 36 years ago. But now there's a need for conference rooms, digital media labs and better furnishings.

Soon after the library is cleared out, a $2.8 million renovation and expansion project will double the library's space.

"Libraries are much more than books," Andrews said.  "Libraries are a center for the community."

Workers spent the week moving the more than 12,000 volumes from the library onto a truck and across town.

"What we needed to do was find a facility," library trustee Joe Eisele said.  "You might think, Oh, there ought to be a lot of place to take a library. Well guess what? There aren't."

Eisele worried the library wouldn't have a place to go during renovations. But, Ministry Medical Group offered an old building kitty-corner to its Eagle River hospital for free.

"At least a year and longer if we need it," Eisele said of the temporary digs.  "Ministry Health Eagle River Memorial Hospital, we're greatly indebted to them."

Eisele says the community support doesn't stop there. Every penny for the renovations came from fundraising or grants, which meant Eagle River didn't need to raise taxes.

"It's all these people that are donating to it that are going to be owners of this exciting project," Eisele said.

For now, those owners will need to travel a mile across town.  But in a year's time, Andrews promises a great replacement.

"This is a library for our community because they wanted it, they put out the money for it and we're going to make it happen for them," Andrews said.

The temporary library opens Monday, October 12.  It's located at 150 E. Hospital Road in Eagle River.

Story By: Lane Kimble

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
 Print Story Print Story | Email Story Email Story


CASSIAN - Veterans who die in Wisconsin currently have no options for national cemetery options for burial in their home state.

A new national cemetery in Oneida County will soon change that.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - Traffic will once again flow freely in downtown Eagle River.

This week, workers laid what's called the "binder coat" of pavement on Division Street.

+ Read More

Play Video

CRANDON - Live cutting events give logging manufacturers the chance to better connect with their customers. It also gives them the opportunity to show off some amazing machines. Nortrax held a live cut event Wednesday near Crandon.

It showcased its modern tools for the logging industry. Longtime workers like Nortrax U.S. Cut to Length Manager Ken Knauf say the way wood gets cut is what really looks different these days.

+ Read More

WISCONSIN - Rural Northwoods schools face different challenges than others in the state.

Some of those include declining enrollment, high transportation costs, and broadband.

Wisconsin Association of School Boards' Executive Director John Ashley is in the Northwoods this week talking about some of those problems. 

Newswatch 12s Kaitlyn Howe spoke with him Thursday.

+ Read More
+ More Local News


SHAWANO COUNTY - A man who thought he would meet a 15-year-old  instead got to meet Shawano County detectives.

A 46 year old Oshkosh man was arrested. He's accused of using a computer to arrange a child sex crime.

+ Read More

MADISON - Republican state Sen. Rob Cowles has introduced a bill that would overhaul high-capacity well regulations.

Under the bill, if the DNR believes cumulative high-capacity wells could deplete streams and lakes to the point of killing aquatic life and impeding navigation, the DNR can ask the Legislature to implement a sensitive resource area designation.

+ Read More

MADISON - U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan does not want to be speaker of the U.S House of Representatives.

On Thursday, the Wisconsin Republican issued a statement saying he was disappointed in Rep. Kevin McCarthy's surprise decision to withdraw from the contest to replace Rep. John Boehner.

+ Read More

CHICAGO - An attorney for former Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett confirms that his client will plead guilty to charges in a federal indictment alleging public corruption.

Chicago-based lawyer Michael Scudder released a statement Thursday saying Byrd-Bennett accepts "full responsibility for her conduct." The statement says she plans to plead guilty to charges in the indictment.

+ Read More
+ More Regional News

Click Here