BROOKFIELD – A year after members of the Brookfield United Methodist Church closed their doors, the building has been approved for demolition.
The Brookfield Public Library Board of Trustees voted to accept a bid of about $168,000 to raze the church, 3541 Park Ave., during its May 29 meeting. The library bought the land last year with the intention of constructing a new facility on the site.
“The Library Board has not established a concrete timeline for the construction of the new facility,” Library Director Kimberly Coughran said. “We went through the planning process last fall. The library gave the [Brookfield] Village Board a three- to five-year time frame.”
Although its members are elected the public, the Brookfield Public Library Board of Trustees obtains its funding from the village. Coughran said the library has substantial space needs not being met by the current facility.
At the intersection of Grand Boulevard and Lincoln and Park avenues, the Brookfield Public Library has about 13,000 square feet of space, Coughran said. If built on the site of the Brookfield United Methodist Church, a new facility would have between 33,000 and 38,000 square feet of space, she said.
“And it’s not just space for the library’s collections,” Coughran said. “We need more space for our study rooms and meeting rooms. The library’s largest meeting room holds 32 people.”
The Brookfield United Methodist Church is across the street from the library. Representatives of the church opted to close their facility due to declining membership and sell the facility to the library.
The Library Board previously embarked on a plan to buy several homes in the Hollywood area of the village. Officials wanted to acquire the property, raze the homes and build the new facility there.
But one homeowner declined to sell to the library, and the plan had to be abandoned. The Library Board recently approved placing one of these homes, on the 3500 block of Arden Avenue, back on the market.