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WJBD - Local News - Library District Secures Funding for $2.7M in New Renovations

Library District Secures Funding for $2.7M in New Renovations

The Centralia Regional Library District now has the funding in place to complete it's 2.7-million dollar renovation and addition project. 

Librarian Joyce Courter says a half-million dollars in donations and pledges have been received so far and they will use a bridge loan to cover the remainder of the $766,000 local share until those funds can be raised.  Secretary of State Jessie White is scheduled to be at the Centralia Library a week from Thursday to present a $1.9-million dollar check for the state's 75% percent cost of the project.  Courter says final plans are currently being reviewed.

"We'll start construction by October. They'll do the building addition first and then start doing renovations...in phases. We hope to remain open most of the time if not all of the time during the construction process, but there will be sections of the library closed at periods of time" Courter said.

The project is expected to take 14 months to complete.  The work will include total renovation of the existing Carnegie Library building and construction of a new 68-hundred square foot building on the southwest side of the library.  Some of the new features are a computer lab and an activity room for the library to use for programs and special events.   Courter says the project will solve a number of deficiencies.

"Especially with us not being ADA accessible and having the elevators to access the second floor and ADA restrooms, which we do not have. [The renovations] will help carry us into the future." Courter said of the renovations.

The original library building was constructed in 1903 and had two wings added in 1972.  The project co-chair Viki Loomis said it was incredibly important to preserve the original library as opposed to tearing it down and starting over.  

The state grant money is coming from the proceeds of video gaming.  The Centralia Library was one of 47 to apply and one of 15 to receive money from the grant program. 

Courter says they are preparing another mailing in hopes of raising the additional money needed to pay off the bridge loan.  The loan was sought to allow the library to have the local share of the project in hand by the June 30th deadline.  White will be at the library on Thursday, July 25th, at three pm for the check presentation.   Everyone is invited to attend.   

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