Site Selection

The purpose of the site evaluation process was to give the library board the tools and information needed to provide the community with the best library possible, meaning a facility:

  • with the optimal combination of initial size, expandability, functional efficiency and adaptability;
  • of aesthetic value that reflects Skaneateles’ character and identity; and
  • completed at a construction and operational cost that is both attainable and sustainable.

The board created a site selection committee in the beginning of 2018 to do the evaluation work and make a final recommendation of which site or sites to pursue.

We began by contracting VIP Architectural Associates to compile and analyze all sites in the Skaneateles community that could possibly support a building of the type and size needed by the library, regardless of practical considerations like availability or cost. The intent of this initial work was simply to identify all the possibilities and provide the site selection committee with the information needed to evaluate each site. The library’s current location was included in the process and evaluated by the same criteria as all other possible properties; the committee used a redesign of the current building (renovation and expansion) for evaluation purposes completed in April 2018 (the matrix below was used for all sites during several rounds of evaluations).

We looked at approximately 19 sites in and around the village and were particularly interested in sites that are close to centers of activity (e.g., schools, the Fennell Street corridor, the Community Center and Austin Park). After more than two years evaluating the options and negotiating site acquisition, we were excited to announce the location of the library’s future home at 75 Fennell Street in October 2020. After contract negotiations with the Town of Skaneateles and a year-long waiting period to allow Town to move equipment and operations, purchase of the site was completed in October 2022.

Many factors contributed to 75 Fennell Street rising to the top of our list, such as lot size, location and zoning. It meets all of the criteria developed by the site selection committee and conforms to the Town’s Comprehensive Plan encouraging development of the Fennell Street Corridor. It will also beautify a dilapidated site along Skaneateles Creek and create more public green space in the village.

Have questions? Contact the Skaneateles Library Board of Trustees at