GREEN BAY - Big changes could someday reshape Brown County's Library and Neville Public Museum.
The County Executive is looking to merge the two facilities to create a so-called "cultural riverfront campus" in downtown Green Bay.
The so-called "cultural campus" would be located on the west side of the river, near the Neville Public Museum.
The library is currently on the east side of the river.
"It's about looking at the future and how we can maintain the quality of our cultural institutions," explained County Executive Troy Streckenbach.
The idea came to light during the State of the County address Thursday night.
Streckenbach feels it would benefit both facilities by increasing foot traffic as well as provide additional opportunities downtown.
"I think this is a great idea of kind of a new, family destination," Streckenbach explained. "It merges very well with what's happening with On Broadway and on Washington Street, along with the KI Expansion. I think this fits very nicely into a large package."
"A lot of museums are struggling and trying to be more relevant so this could have a positive impact," said Neville Public Museum Director Rolf Johnson.
Those at the Neville say the merger is worth looking into.
But the museum is also looking into changes of its own, a possible multi-million dollar expansion.
That plan includes a new atrium at the front of the museum.
"We're moving forward independently," Johnson said. "But this idea is worth exploring even though we all know the devil is in the details. This might give us an opportunity to collaborate, maybe I can work, maybe it won't work, but it's worth exploring."
Library officials feel the same way. They say the current facility is in desperate need of upgrades.
However some projects have been put on hold while they check into this proposal.
"We have taken a pause on that, because again, where's the library going to be, what is the future of the library, because we don't want to start doing renovations, if in fact, let's say we're going to move to a different location and do some other changes," explained Library Board President Kathy Pletcher.
Streckenbach says this is just a vision at this point.
So, it's still unclear whether both facilities would be under one roof or if a new building would be built.
Streckenbach hopes to develop a task force to lay out the framework.
As for a price tag, that's still unclear as well.
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