New parking structure plan removes library offices from downtown Jackson

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — A decades-old building that’s used by a mid-Michigan library could be meeting the wrecking ball to make way for a growing downtown.

With new developments coming in, more parking is needed in downtown Jackson.

The city has a plan for a new parking structure at Michigan Avenue and Blackstone Street.

But there’s an obstacle.

An occupied building is already there.

Over the last 89 years, the building next to the Jackson Carnegie Library has served a variety of purposes.

It’s currently the administration building for the Jackson District Library.

“There’s a lot of activity that helps support the library. We have about 20-25 employees who work here,” said Library Director Sara Tackett.

A proposal from the city of Jackson calls for removing the building and constructing a five-story parking structure that can hold 500 vehicles.

The city says more parking space is needed to accommodate the new headquarters for Commonwealth Associates, and the redevelopment of the Hayes Hotel.

Tackett says the library district is interested in hearing more about the proposal.

“We’ll be listening and hearing what the project is and how the library could be involved or affected,” Tackett said.

The city is currently looking for funding sources to pay for the structure.

While that happens, Tackett says the library district wants to be mindful of how the structure will impact the Carnegie Library.

“Look at the options. But we want to make sure we maintain the best options for our patrons too,” Tackett said.

The library board is meeting with city officials Thursday night to discuss the plan.

Right now it’s too early to tell when a decision will be made.

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