Library idea surfaces for closed Libby school

Facility closed since 2011

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LIBBY — The Asa Wood School property may have found an interested tenant if Lincoln County Librarian Rick Ball has his way.

Ball has suggested that Lincoln County could take over the facility on Idaho Avenue and U.S. 2, potentially turning it into a multi-use complex for the community.

“There’s lots of space, it’s centrally located and there is room for expansion,” Ball said. “The current library building is old and small.”

The school closed after the school year ended in the spring 2011. The property has fields, a gym, a walking track, a music room and many classrooms.

Ball said he would like to see those used and allow the Lincoln County Library to have more room to expand and a place to show movies, citing Libby’s lack of an open movie theater.

Ball mentioned the possibility of a café and coffee shop as a welcome addition to the property as well.

“It’s just an idea,” Ball said. “We are just in planning stages. It’s probably two years minimum from happening.”

School board officials said they had discussed the idea, but no movement had been made toward making it a reality.

“There has been nothing official,” board member Les Nelson said. “I know the librarian would like to see that happen. Nothing has been voted on. If this were to happen, the county would need more involvement.”

School Superintendent K.W. Maki said he was very pleased with the prospect of the libraries taking up space in Asa Wood.

“It could be a real hub of community right in the heart of town,” Maki said. “This could be beneficial for everybody, but good things don’t come easy.”

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