The Brookfield Public Library Board has narrowed its choices for an architect to two firms but don’t expect any hiring decision to be made soon as the library inches toward its goal of constructing a new building.

On April 19 the library board interviewed four architectural firms and at its April 23 board meeting narrowed the field to two finalists: Elgin-based Burnidge Cassell & Associates (BCA) and Milwaukee-based Engberg Anderson.

“Both these companies have a lot of experience designing middle-range libraries,” said Brookfield Public Library Board of Trustees President Jonathan Platt. “Both are functionally orientated.”

But Platt says the board is not likely to hire either firm soon since the library board has yet to decide upon a site where they would like to build a new library.

“There is no pressure making an immediate decision,” said Platt. “At such time we are ready we should know which architects we would choose and want to work with. We still don’t have a timeline.”

Platt said the both firms would be willing to advise the board as it considers possible sites.

“Both would be willing to work on a limited contractual basis before we go to a full design,” said Platt. “If we come up with a plan for a specific property, we go to them and get their advice.”

The library has already used BCA for some site studies of possible locations, including the at now-abandoned Washington/Arden site.

Platt said that he had no news to report on the library’s search for a site for a new building. The library is known to be considering property at the intersection of Brookfield and McCormick avenues and the vacant Church of the Nazarene property at 4301 Prairie Ave.

The library may also be considering an undisclosed location on land owned by the village of Brookfield.

No agent for home sale

In other action, the library board decided not to hire a real estate agent to help it sell the home at 3507 Arden Ave. the library purchased last summer for $400,000. The library bought the home when it was pursuing a plan, that is has since abandoned, to purchase five homes along Arden and Washington avenues to provide space for a new library.

The plan fell through when one of the five owners refused to sell.

Platt said that the library will try to rent out the house if it cannot find a buyer soon. The house has been vacant for approximately nine months.

“The long-term goal is still to sell it, but, given the current market, we may try to lease it,” said Platt.

In the winter, the library put out a notice accepting bids on the home, but specifying a minimum bid of $410,000; they received no bids.

Since the end of February, it has been open to offers for the house without a specified minimum. But caught in the midst of a very weak housing market the library has not been able to sell the home.

The library financed its purchase of the home with a line of credit from the First National Bank of Brookfield.