Leavenworth city officials are still exploring possible uses for the Carnegie building, the city manager said.

Leavenworth city officials are still exploring possible uses for the Carnegie building, the city manager said.

"We've had some interest," City Manager Scott Miller said.

He said it's probably about time to bring the issue back to Leavenworth city commissioners during a study session to find out what direction they wish to take.

The city recently took over the building, which originally was a library, after the Carnegie Arts Center closed. The structure reverted back to the city under an agreement that had allowed the building to be operated as the arts center.

The building was constructed with a grant awarded around 1900 by Andrew Carnegie. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Miller has said the building needs to be preserved, but the city doesn't have the money to operate and maintain it.

There reportedly are infrastructure issues with the building that need to be addressed.

Miller said city officials have found no restrictions on the building in terms of what it can be used for.

When commissioners discussed the building in June, they questioned whether any such restrictions had been placed on the building when the Carnegie grant was awarded and the city initially acquired the property.

Because the building is on the National Register of Historic Places, there are restrictions to what can be done to the exterior of the building, Miller said.

"They can do work on the inside," he said.

He said there is nothing prohibiting the building from being turned into, for example, a law office.

The city has spent some money to address problems with the building.
During a meeting Tuesday, Leavenworth city commissioners approved roof repairs that are estimated to cost about $5,000.

According to Chief Building Inspector Hal Burdette, the repairs are needed to prevent leaks in the future.

Burdette reported that other work already had been done for a relatively low cost. This included replacing portions of the piping system that were leaking. Other portions of the water system were removed because they were considered in poor condition and not necessary for the time being.

A fire and burglar alarm system has been activated at the building.