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Conceptual Design Phase

The City completed a series of open houses and collected feedback online in July. There will be another opportunity for additional public input during this phase of the project as well as online. See the history of the project, including milestones for public input here.

Public Input

350 individuals attended the open houses (Jul. 16-20, 2018) and a combined 469 individuals commented on the project through comment cards, the Library website and coUrbanize. A significant percentage of participants is excited about the initial design concept for the Library Campus, but three significant themes emerged from the comments gathered:

  • Consideration for the historic cabin structure
  • Parking
  • Cost

You can read the full report on the public input.


The Cabin

The City of Boise is and will remain a committed supporter of the historic cabin structure and its tenants, The Cabin: A Center for Readers & Writers. We are also committed to building a 21st century main library that represents the values and goals gleaned from several years of feasibility studies, visioning workshops and conversations with a wide cross-section of the community. Discussions with the Cabin’s director and board about a potential new location on a city-owned property adjacent to Julia Davis Park that offers the best possible outcome for The Cabin’s future are ongoing. Given public feedback in the open houses, we are also exploring further the possibility of incorporating the Cabin into the library campus.


Creating adequate and accessible parking for this project is a key priority, with a goal of 300 spots. Approximately 40 spots will remain onsite, while 250 are planned in an offsite parking structure. This structure may be built on the property located at 618 S. 8th Street, owned by Tim Wilcomb and currently the home of the Foothills School of Arts and Sciences. The Wilcombs have been in discussions with the school board for some time about the possibility of redeveloping the property should an opportunity present itself. As such, the school has had an eye out for a permanent location for many years and is currently in the process of negotiating an ownership agreement for another site that would provide them with a sustainable long-term future downtown. With this partnership, the City would purchase parking as a condominium and operate it as a public garage. Parking fees are still being worked on, but we are making every effort to offer the first or two hours free, with possible parking validation. 


The project team continues to work on ways to reduce the estimated overall cost of the campus project, with a budget goal of $80-85 million – $18 million from philanthropy, $15 million from Capital City Development Corporation (CCDC), $15 million from City of Boise, $32-37 long-term lease financing. The City of Boise will be using existing resources to support the lease financing. Boise resident taxes will not go up as a result of this project.

Next steps will include a public lecture featuring Lead Architect Moshe Safdie on September 21, 2018 (details forthcoming) and a second opportunity for public input in early fall, where the public will be asked to comment on further refinement of the design including interior spaces. As always, you are welcome to continue to submit comments through this site throughout the duration of the project. 

Building Program & Community Visioning Report

Get detailed information on the initial building program and community workshops that informed the project Vision and Goals.


Project Timeline

Urban Design Study

Performing Arts Center Study

Develop Building Program Statement
Fundraising Feasibility Study
Visioning Workshops

Winter - Spring 2018
Hire Architect
Design Concept Development

Summer 2018 - Fall 2019
Open Houses & Public Input
Schematic Design Phase
We Are Here!

Fall 2019 - 2021
Capital Campaign


Follow This Project!

To keep you up to date on this project, the City of Boise is piloting a new community engagement platform called coUrbanize. Follow along and you will receive:

  • Projects Updates through Opening Day
  • Community Events
  • Continued Opportunities to Share Feedback
  • Main Library Service Notifications ... and More!


Giving Opportunities

Help us bring this vision to reality! Every donation helps.