The Brookfield Public Library Board of Trustees, which is in the midst of finalizing its vision for a new facility, must now search for a new architect after its former architect was laid off from his job.

Soon after a preliminary plan for a new library was approved by the library board, Michael Mackey informed library officials he was leaving his position at the firm Dewberry. 

Dewberry is an architectural and engineering firm with offices in 19 states. In 2008, the library board selected the small firm of Burnidge Cassell Associates to develop plans for a new library. In 2009 Dewberry acquired Burnidge Cassell.

The library has issued a request for information seeking a new architectural firm with substantial work experience in public libraries. Dewberry is not expected to seek to continue its relationship with the Brookfield Public Library after finishing the initial schematic drawings, which were presented to the library board last month. 

“It just seemed like a natural stopping point,” said Jennifer Perry, the president of the library’s board of trustees. “They’re going in a different direction.”

Perry said the initial plans developed by Mackey will still serve as the basis of the plans for a new library that the board hopes eventually to build.

“It is an opportunity for us to get another perspective,” Perry said. “We are not going to be starting from scratch. We did get from Dewberry a release of the drawings to us, so we do own them and we can use them, which was important. Overall I think the board is happy with the basic design that we have.”

Perry said the board hopes to select a new architect by its November board meeting after interviewing firms in October.

The library board had hoped to submit final plans for a new library to the village of Brookfield in the first half of 2015.

“I would hope that it wouldn’t delay us too much, but I don’t know,” Perry said. “The timetable that we have isn’t really fixed. Our goal is to have schematic plans done by the end of the year, and we will still meet that goal.”

Perry has said that the library board would not seek a referendum to raise money to build a new library until 2016 at the earliest.

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