The current building that houses our library was built in 1959 as a Lutheran church and in 1985 was remodeled to become the library. Other than a new roof and the removal of the former altar area, the building hasn’t seen any major renovations in 34 years. The entrances and bathrooms aren’t ADA accessible.
There are two entrances/exits to the building and neither one can be seen from the circulation desk. The children’s area is in the back of the building and can’t be seen from the circulation desk either. After 34 years of growth, it’s too small to hold children’s programming. Our programming space for any age group is within the adult space of the library that also holds our computers and book collection.
We are currently fundraising by pursuing a capital campaign project, holding a gala event and applying for grant opportunities. We plan to apply for the NE Dept. of Economic Development’s Civic and Community Center Financing Fund grant in the beginning of 2020. With support and additional fundraising, we hope to match their grant amount of $375,000.
If awarded, in June of 2020 we can finalize design details and procure contractors by the end of next year. We could begin breaking ground in the spring of 2021 and could be celebrating a ribbon cutting by late 2021 or early spring of 2022. We will continue to fundraise for matching funds during this time.
The proposed renovation will address the space and accessibility challenges. A 1,720 square foot addition would add a community room dedicated to activities. A new ADA accessible entry and new accessible bathrooms will address our problem areas. There will also be 1,200 square feet of intensive renovations to better utilize the library spaces, increase security and overall library function.