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Newstead's plans to replace its library with a facility to serve the growing town as well as the Village of Akron moved ahead this week with architectural drawings being submitted to the Town Board.

The final library-facility study, prepared by Foit Albert Associates, "provides a direction for the Town Board to pursue in its quest for a facility that meets the requirements of a successful library."

The study shows a two-story, 15,200-square-foot library designed to replace the town's current library, a 4,030-square-foot facility in a building that is more than 50 years old, at the northwest corner of Franklin and John streets. "The current space is inefficient and cramped, and does not allow the library staff to carry out the functions and programs identified as needs within the community," the report noted.

"With a 1997 circulation of 45,122 items, and growing at between 5 and 10 percent throughout this decade, the current library and its staff are being stretched beyond their limits," the report added.

Three sites are under consideration:

The current site.

Two properties on the south side of lower Main Street, next to Village Hall at 27-29 and 31-33 Main St., at a preliminary cost of $2,164,027.

A lot at the corner of Buell Street and Westgate Avenue, at an estimated cost of $1,853,314.

A Town Hall location was rejected as a possibility earlier because it is not "large enough to accommodate on-site parking, not handicapped-accessible and town offices would have to be moved to an unknown location," the report says.

The Main Street site ranked highest because it is in the center of the village, easily accessible by foot or car and parking can be accommodated.

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