Argument Over New Courthouse
The location for a new library seemed under control eight months ago, but Missouri River Regional Library officials wonder what happened and why some feel left out of the loop.
Missouri's former state prison, at Lafayette and State streets, topped the list of locations for a new library. The State Penitentiary Redevelopment Commission told library officials last June the site was available.
"This was a done deal," said V. Questar, a participant in the library plan. "This is where the library was going to go."
But, the library found out last month the penitentiary site would house a federal courthouse instead.
"We were caught off guard because we were under the understanding that the library had that site," argued Margaret Conroy, library director. "We had not been told otherwise."
The decision also upset other people.
"Things were going, they've been going, for months now. And for this to be, you know, just, I don't know, just totally turned around and upside down, there's no excuse for this. I don't care what they say, I think it could have been handled better on their part."
Others are just curious.
"I would have thought they would have been in the loop a little more. It's surprising that this just happened out of the blue."
KOMU contacted members of the Penitentiary Commission, but they refused to comment. They will announce plans for the new federal courthouse next Tuesday.