SANDPOINT — With a few turns of the shovel, the East Bonner County Library District’s “Your Library Transformation” project got off the ground.
“It’s so exciting to see this finally happening,” EBCLD Director Ann Nichols told those gathered. “We’ve been talking about it for several years and I just can’t believe that today’s the day that we’re really starting.”
The groundbreaking officially kicked off the 7,900-square-foot expansion project. Substantial completion of the interior space is scheduled for late March 2018, with landscaping being done as weather permits
“Thanks to wonderful community members like yourself,” Nichols told the small crowd of community members, board members and library staff. “Over 55 individuals and businesses have donated to the project.”
More than $180,000 in donations have been received by the library for the expansion and renovation project.
Among those donating to the project include the Friends of the Library, Richard and Donna Hutter, Idaho Community Foundation, Inland Northwest Community Foundation, Mary Zindler estate and the Rotary Club of Sandpoint, and Union Pacific Railroad.
Nichols told the crowd the library district would ensure patrons and community members received frequent updates on the project and would always know what is going on. Patrons and community members are also welcome to call and come in to see the work in progress.
“It will be a wonderful, wonderful transformation,” she said.
Staging for the project is set up on the northeast corner of the library parking lot, resulting in the loss of 14 parking spaces. North Summit Church has agreed to offer the use of their parking lot as overflow, library officials said. The entry portico is now blocked off at the east side, and will remain accessible to non-motorized traffic only throughout the duration of the project.
Work will take place 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. On occasion, work may extend to later in the day and on Saturdays. Noise typical of construction zones, potentially hazardous conditions, and closed access to areas of the library should be expected. Patrons will be prohibited from entering any potentially dangerous areas.
The $2.7 million “Your Library Transformation” project includes the exterior expansion, as well as an interior remodel resulting in larger, more accessible community meeting rooms, an expanded Children’s Area, increased young adult and large print book collections, designated quiet and social areas, a teen room and maker space, among other additions.
The decision to remodel and expand the library is based on public comment, usage data, and community focus groups and surveys performed over the past three years.
Caroline Lobsinger can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @CarolDailyBee.