Facts about the building
Opening Date: October 1992
Size: 8,470 square feet
Partial basement houses natural gas furnaces, air conditioning, water softener, hot water tank, and storage areas.
Construction costs: $755,000
Architect: Group II Architects PA, Marshall
Contractors: General – Deming Construction, of Fairfax
Electrical: L & S Electric, of Springfield
Mechanical: Bisbee Plumbing and Heating, of Marshall
Altermatt Memorial Wing
1,856 square feet
Meeting room, 1,000 square feet with center room divider
Art Display facilities with track lighting
Storage and Coat Rooms
History of the Springfield Library
In 1931, the Women’s Literary Club decided to start a Free Public Library in Springfield, MN. Since 1901, the club had sponsored a Traveling Library, sent out by the Minnesota State Library, which was placed in the local jewelry store. Interest shown by borrowers through the years indicated the need for a library. The club conducted fund-raisers – a home talent play, and a series of card parties – to reach their financial goal of $100. With additional gifts, $150 was invested in new books. The first library opened in April, 1932, with about 40 volumes on two shelves. These books were loaned at no charge. The library was open three afternoons a week and one evening. Women of the club took turns in issuing and receiving books.
In 1933, the Springfield Public Library moved into new quarters in the basement of the kindergarten building, Springfield Public School. The School District donate the use of the room and the City of Springfield got it ready for use. The City then appropriated money for upkeep and maintenance of the library.
In 1933, the library had grown sufficiently to indicate that it was time to set up a library board. Olivia (Mrs. A.C.) Blue was elected the first chairman of the board, and served for many years. By 1933, the library had grown from 852 volumes with 868 borrowers.
In 1938, the Women’s Literary Club presented the Public Library to the City of Springfield. At the close of the year, the library had a circulation of 8,676 books with 1,363 borrowers.
In 1950, the Springfield Public School needed more space, so the library gave up its kindergarten quarters and moved in the city-owned house on Marshall Avenue, north of the Fire Station.
In 1955, the City Council received permission from the Springfield School Board to use the empty school building, and the library was moved back in the kindergarten building. The upstairs interior was converted into a fine library.
During the summer of 1988, the Library Board was informed that the Springfield Public Library was named benefactor of a large sum of money bequeathed from the estate of Ethel Altermatt. According to Mrs. Altermatt’s will, the money was to be used to construct an addition to the Springfield Public Library to be known as the Charles and Ethel Altermatt memorial Wing. The gift was nearly $1,000,000.00 gave the community more than a wing to the library, however it provided a beautiful new building
After three years of planning, construction for the new building was begun in September, 1991. The building opened for use by the public in October, 1992.