Galway Public Library trustees are keeping their eyes on a 12-acre village property that they hope may someday be the library’s new home.
The trustees are expected to vote tonight to extend an option to buy a parcel of vacant land on East Street across from St. Mary’s Catholic Church near the village center. A six-month option the board previously approved is set to expire Sunday, and the extension will give trustees more time to get all the pieces in place for a purchase, said library director Regina Doi.
The village of Galway has approved allowing the property to be used for a library.
The Dockstader Trust, established by Galway millionaires Clayton “Dock” Dockstader, who died in 2007, and his wife, Katherine Dockstader, who died in 1995, will donate most of the money to buy the property, Doi said. A price for the parcel has not been established, she said.
The property’s full market value for taxing purposes is assessed at less than $43,000. David and Katherine Michalski own it, according to Saratoga County property records.
If the library buys the property, local residents would be able to continue to walk to check out books, which was an important consideration when library officials looked at where to relocate.
“A lot of kids walk, and of course people who live in the village walk,” Doi said. “That was one of the key things with the long-range planning.”
The current 1,800-square-foot library is “busting at the seams” with 34,000 items in its collection, Doi said. The parking lot has space for five cars, and there’s no room to expand the building.
“I think we have like three feet on either side of the building to walk,” Doi said.
Between 3,000 and 5,000 square feet might be a good expansion for the library, she said, but library officials have not gotten to that point in the planning yet.
When they do, the Galway community will be involved.
“The idea is to get as much community involvement in the design and the logistics,” Doi said.
Doi expects it will take at least five years to get a library built.
The current library was founded in 1997 after a committee raised money to buy the former Odd Fellows Hall in the village.
The land on which the library has an option is next to the Dockstader house, which the couple bequeathed to the library in 2007. But the two parcels are separated by a private driveway that leads to a farmer’s field off the road, so they can’t easily be joined, Doi said.
It’s possible that the Dockstader house, which sits on 0.91 acres, could be used as a community meeting space in the future, she said.