WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita City Council voted unanimously to approve improvements to Wichita’s Century II and expansion to the city’s Westlink Branch Library.
Three significant projects within the plan are included in 2023, including $5 million to rehabilitate the blue dome roof; $1,176,560 to upgrade fire alarm systems, and $1.5 million to upgrade air conditioning systems. Other improvements planned for 2023 include improving the WiFi system, upgrading the lifts and elevators, rehabilitating stage and rigging systems, and upgrading wiring and switches for internet conversion. The projects total about $9 million.
“These repairs are long overdue. We’ve got to step up our game in taking care of our public buildings,” Celeste Racette, Save Century II.
Funding for the improvements would come from $6.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and $3,443,731 in Transient Guest Tax funding.
Century II, which is managed by ASM Global, put together a list of capital expenditures. Nearly 97 projects were identified over the next decade, totaling $18 million.
Also, the Council voted to use $4.5 million in ARPA funds to expand the city’s Westlink Branch Library. Work is expected to begin in 2023 on the expansion.
According to the city, the Westlink Branch of the Wichita Public Library has operated from an existing building of approximately 10,340 square feet since 1981 and has annually held the second highest materials circulation in the library system. Almost half of the youth programming attendance that occurs at branch libraries occurs at Westlink, and the branch saw over 211,000 visitors in 2021.