The project adds about 1,200 feet to the old library. Once completed, the entire building will be handicap accessible and have about 2,700 square feet of space. The old library had only 1,500 square feet and was crowded.
Interior remodeling includes changing walls, updating the electrical, and heating systems. A study room will be added as well as a workroom. There will also be an audio-visual area, children's area and adult reading lounge.
The Friends of the Library have been holding fund raising projects to help purchase new book shelving for the library. Eric Werlinger, Paynesville, for his Eagle Scout project, is planning on building four book bins in the children's easy book section which will hold about 1,300 books. Ian Pelton, Paynesville, is also rebuilding some of the old book shelves for the library.
"The Friends of the Library have raised about $47,312 thus far and are still $7,595 short of their goal," Molly Zimmerman, Friends of the Library spokesperson, said. "If we don't raise the funds, we'll put down tile floors instead of carpeting the library, the carpet can be added later if needed."
She also mentioned the circulation desk might be a smaller version and a new desk will be added once the funds are available. Among the fund raisers held have been book sales and a raffle will be held. The Friends of the Library are raffling off two prints and an original Ron Iverson painting.
"We hope to have the library reopened by early September with a grand reopening planned for later in the month," she said.
"It is great to see the community working together to upgrade the library. Everyone has been so generous with their donations. The remodeling project wouldn't be taking place without the community's support," Zimmerman said. "If every library patron would donate $10, the library work would be paid for, equaling the price of one hardcover book."
Once the project is completed, the Great River Regional Library (GRRL) will install an Internet terminal for patrons to use. The GRRL will also be expanding the library's hours to 31 hours per week after the first of the year and adding a staff person.
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