Geneva Library Signs Contract for Cetron Purchase as New Library Site

The Geneva Public Library posts a blog announcing the signing of the contract to purchase the former Cetron property as a future library site.

The Geneva Public Library has signed a contract to purchase the Cetron Building.

After nearly three years of waiting and negotiations, the library has posted a blog saying it has signed a contract to purchase the 2.25-acre site on Hamilton and Richards streets.

The Library Board approved the purchase in August 2010 but did not get a signed contract from the owner until early February 2013. 

"We are now in our period of due diligence, which allows us to conduct a site assessment to evaluate the extent of any environmental risks on the land," the blog states.

Some of the concerns about the site were that chemicals or other contaminants that might have been left over from previous uses. The build has housed Continent Electric, for example, which built photo tubes and rectifiers during World Ward II. It later became Richardson Electronics, which made vaccum tubes for vacuum gauges and the Epoxy Pencil among other devices.

In August 2010, the library hired an attorney to oversee an environmental study of the site.

"Our contract with the purchaser is constructed to allow us an 'out' if we learn that there are environmental conditions on the property that would be cost prohibitive to address," the library blog said.

"If all goes well, closing on the property would be on June 6, 2013."

The blog includes 12 comments, ranging from congratulations and excitement for a new facility to wishes to keep the library at its present location at 127 James St.


Related Articles

  • Library's Cetron Purchase Could Have Domino Effect
  • Icons For Sale: Two of Four Cetron Parcels Still to Be Acquired by Geneva Library District
  • Matt Teske: Adaptive Re-Use of Cetron Building Isn't Right for Library
  • Library Board Approves Future Sale of Property to City
  • Matt Teske: Geneva Library 2011—Looking Forward
  • Mike Bruno: Geneva Library Shouldn't Tear Down Cetron Without Considering Adaptive Re-Use
JMZ March 05, 2013 at 07:23 PM
Now this is just ridiculous. With many people getting their books online, the library is NOT BUSY. My husband (who is retired) goes there twice a week and brings his own reading material just to get out of the house. He says that there are barely any people in there. I think they make up the numbers to make it seem like we need a new library. How about making due with what we have and saving the taxpayers of Geneva some money?
Lou B. March 05, 2013 at 07:50 PM
Beware of local builders who are promoting -anything and everything- that might lead to construction projects. A public referendum would probably have to be held to obligate the Geneva citizens to pay off the 10-20 million that this would probably cost.
Mike Bruno March 05, 2013 at 09:15 PM
Separate from whether or not the Library needs to move, we need to make sure that adaptive re-use in properly and authoritatively considered before demolition.
bob March 06, 2013 at 03:44 AM
Why wouldn't we just merge with the Batavia Library? They have plenty of room. The excess money could be given to the Geneva School district. Or, maybe, locate the library in one of the School District buildings that may be surplus.
Bob Johnson March 06, 2013 at 06:40 AM
As a resident of the 1st ward, I was interested in your previous comments that a library at the present location in the 5th ward is better for the community than one at the Cetron location. Since you are running to represent the interests of the 1st ward, I found that comment very odd as the Cetron building has been the preeminent example of blight in the community for some time. As they say, some old buildings have character but this one just has rats. The library board's interest in constructing a state of the art facility that would benefit the entire Geneva community while significantly enhancing the 1st ward would appear to be a win-win. I'm concerned that in your estimation historic preservation (and I'd have to argue the point with regards to Cetron) would trump the interest of the very 1st ward residents you seek to represent.
ABT1820 March 06, 2013 at 03:43 PM
I am pleased to see a new location. The current one is old and leaves everyone with a moldy taste in their mouth. The library is a wonderful source of activity and community for all ages. Children should be taken to the library more to encourage reading. I take my son almost weekly. If nothing else, it promotes the idea of "borrowing, acting resposibly and returning something that isnt yours" Not to mention the thought of READING and not watching TV or playing Wii! I am all for the library expansion and movement. I love Geneva and all it has to offer for the community. And Yes, I live here and YES I pay a boat load of taxes. USE the things that your taxes pay for and STOP complaining about them!
Mike Bruno March 06, 2013 at 04:20 PM
@Bob Johnson: Assuming the present library location can meet its needs, we *all* benefit from keeping a core service as physically close to the town center as possible. I merely contend that repurposing a structure is preferable to demolition if possible on a number of levels. If the downtown benefits from library foot traffic, then the 1st Ward benefits right along with wards 2, 3, 4 and 5. I wrote at some length on the matter here: http://geneva.patch.com/blog_posts/mike-bruno-geneva-library-shouldnt-tear-down-cetron-without-considering-adaptive-re-use Certainly, in its present state, the Cetron building is a blight...but then so was The Herrington Inn, Dodson Place and Pure Oil. My whole neighborhood (my and my neighbors house in particular). We bought, what my most standards, were teardowns and restored them. This ended up being a catalyst for other neighbors to invest in refurbishing and rehabilitating their properties. If you think the owners are not doing enough to keep the property safe and clean, then there are pressures that can be applied to the owners. Whomever acquires the Cetron properties should at least thoughtfully consider whether the building can be repurposed...if only for the "green" aspect. Demolition is a one way trip and Geneva has done a wonderful job of keeping that in the public mind. Sure, it may not work long-term, but lets not deny ourselves the option by demolition right out of the gate.
Bob Johnson March 06, 2013 at 06:10 PM
I'm always amused at the contention that the Cetron location is somehow prohibitively outside the "town center." If there is a study that predicts the economic impact of moving the library 6 blocks, I'd love to read it. I would again contend that the community most benefits from having a modern and vibrant library facility rather than being shoehorned into a location "downtown" that was built before anyone comprehended the needs of a 21st century facility. There are planned uses for the existing structure so there is no impact to structures in that regard. As for the Cetron building itself, I think there is fallacy that old = historic. There won't be any lawsuits about window replacement at Cetron as many have already been smashed. If there is a plan to purchase and restore the Cetron building if the library sale does not go through, I'd love to hear about it as that is news to me and great for the neighborhood. I do applaud your holistic approach to Geneva's interests over the interests of the 1st ward. Is it too late to run for mayor?
Mike Bruno March 06, 2013 at 08:20 PM
@Bob Johnson: There are actually studies on just how far [American] pedestrians will walk in. At a recent presentation at city hall on changing zoning on State Street to bolster pedestrian attractiveness, they covered just that topic. They showed statistics that, using 3rd and State as the center, pedestrians would walk just about up to 6th Street (is my recollection). That puts the Cetron properties actually "well" past the boundary that we can expect a pedestrian to walk. What this means is that, for someone visiting the library, there would be markedly decreased likelihood that they will stop downtown for coffee or lunch. It actually makes a difference. That being said; If the library *has* to move, I don't know if there would be a better location than the Cetron property. You are right in that "old" doesn't always mean "historic". Having served on the Preservation Commission for 11 years, I have been involved in approving a good number of demolitions. While a case can be made that Cetron is historic, the best arguments don't even need to invoke historic preservation. The building is *far* taller than anything current zoning would allow. From the green perspective, hauling away a large industrial building to a landfill just to build another building is h*o*r*r*i*b*l*e in terms of a carbon footprint. Re: me running for mayor....It is too late. Thanks for the consideration. You are not the first to suggest it. :-)
Mike Bruno March 06, 2013 at 09:57 PM
@Bob Johnson I added a graphic in the photos for this article here from the city staff indicating the 1/4-mile radius that a pedestrian shopper might be expected to walk *assuming* that there is *contiguous*, attractive retail. You will see that the Cetron property is outside of that circle. Moreover; with two banks being at the 5th and State corners, I suggest that we have effectively ended the pedestrian retail district there and well short of that 1/4-mile and effectively putting the Cetron property yet further out of "downtown".
craig March 07, 2013 at 11:07 AM
Just askin' Why wouldn't the library have just moved into the old Coultrap Building? Don't we already own it? Wouldn't that have cost less, especially if this Cetron purchase requires environmental cleanup?


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something