New ideas for use of the vacant Tower Manufacturing building will be sought next week in a two-part workshop. Sponsored by the city's Office of Historic Preservation and the Technical Assistance to Brownfields program, the sessions will be Thursday at the Jefferson County Library Madison branch.

The workshops are open to the public. Interested groups and neighbors are especially encouraged to participate, said city preservation planner Camille Fife. Reservations should be made by Tuesday, Nov. 13, by calling 274-2750.

The first session will be from 2 to 4 p.m., when participants will be divided into small groups to talk about possible uses for the property, which also is known as the tack factory.

The ideas will be shared at the second session, a public forum from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Participants will "vote" on their favorite ideas, which then will be explored in the coming months by faculty members from universities that are working with the Brownfields program.

The public can tour the building, 1001 W. Second St., from 11 a.m. to noon, but must make a reservation. People going on the tour are to take a flashlight.

After the workshop, there will be a reception at West Street Art Gallery on the northwest corner of Second and West streets.

The cost of the workshop is being paid by the Brownfields program, which is part of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Fife and Blase Leven, program coordinator for the Technical Assistance to Brownfields at Kansas State University, will lead the workshop. Also assisting with the workshop will be Rebecca Rossi, the assistant director at the Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development at Illinois State University, and Pat Crawford, associate professor of landscape architecture at Michigan State University.

The Brownfields program is involved in cleaning up industrial sites. An environmental assessment of the site was done several years ago, and the program has been asked to update it, Fife said.