The Briggs District Library in St. Johns is planning $1 million renovations, but it still needs to raise $657,000.
Library Director Sara Morrison said they started making plans to renovate the library prior to the pandemic.
"The last time we had any major construction/renovations to it was 1998," Morrison said. "We were underneath the city of St. Johns and we came out and became a district library in 2016, and once we got settled from that transition, then we started talking in 2017-ish about the need to renovate the facility and make it more modern...the walls have honestly not been painted since we moved in."
But now with inflation, Morrison said the costs are "up significantly."
"The project is now estimated to be about $1,068,000," Morrison said.
Renovations to the library will include transforming an unused 1,500-square-foot warehouse into a new children's area with murals and a train tunnel entrance.
Morrison said the current children's area will become an adult reading area with a fireplace and a meeting room that will hold 60 people.
"It will have an operable wall in the middle, so that we will be able to split it into two 30-person meeting rooms," Morrison said. "So, we could have a program in one half and have someone else meeting in the other half, which currently we can't do. Right now our current meeting room only holds 25 people."
The current meeting room will become a maker's space, with a 3D printer, laptop, green screen and video camera.
There will also be more space to expand the collection.
"I just finished applying for a grant this morning, and I've got a couple others on my desk that we're working on," Morrison said. "My board members have been talking to local businesses about the possibility of them making some donations towards the project, we have a couple patrons who have already made donations...and then we've got little containers sitting out around the library for people to put change in."
So far, they've raised about $6,000 in donations.
There will be a fund raising event for children at the library on May 7, where the St. Johns Mint Court will read books, play games and craft with the kids, as well as teach them court etiquette.
There is a suggested $10 donation per child for the fundraiser.
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