Okemos Library one step closer to renovations

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By Molly Mason
Meridian Times staff writer

The Okemos Library recently reached the fundraising deadline and the $100,000 needed in order to be approved for an interior renovation project . The Meridian Township Board agreed to give $200,000, from the general fund, to the library renovation if the library raised $100,000 between December 2012 and March 2013.

The proposed floor plan that is currently under review by the board.

The proposed floor plan that is currently under review by the board.

Betsy Hull, head librarian said, “We’re thrilled with the project and the response we received from the community.”

Renovations include moving the entrance from the south door to the west door. Hull says, “Moving the entrance to the west will have the biggest impact because it will make parking easier and change the way people look at the building.”

Other renovations include new bathrooms, a bigger children and young adult section, a new world language section featuring Chinese newspapers, Korean books and a Bollywood film section available to rent.

The library staff had help from a non-profit organization called “Friends of the Library.” The organization will supply some donated materials such as furnishings and books, while the rest of the materials are supplied by the Capital Area District Libraries Systems.

Cecelia Kramer, President of Friends of the Library, said, “The next step is getting the renovations approved, but construction is planned to start in late summer, after the completion of the summer reading program.”

Hull said, “We will be using the interior of the building in a much more efficient way.” Overall, the library will go from 12,000 square feet to 21,000 square feet.

Gerald Richards, township manager, said, “Now that the $100,000 was raised and the design is near completion, we will start looking at construction bids.”

The library offers something for all ages.

The library offers something for all ages.

Kramer said, “Much of the construction can be started while the library is still open and operational; however, once the work starts to replace the bathrooms, the library will have to be closed.”

Richards said, “Starting in late August, the library will be closed for 10 to 12 weeks.”

For more information on the renovations visit the Friends of the Library website.

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