Library patrons and Sylvan Grove residents are getting excited about the changes happening at the Sylvan Grove Public Library.
UPDATE! The Sylvan Grove Public Library held a grand opening of the newly renovated space on April 24, 2019!
Last summer the library participated in the Downtown Design Assistance program, and Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation director Kelly Larson, with summer interns Miki Blair and Bethany Pingel, drafted interior and exterior plans, with cost estimates.
The library shares a building with the Sylvan Grove City Hall. Plans for the library improvements included converting the center garage bay area of the City Hall building, 122 S Main St., into additional space for the library, which will nearly triple the square footage for the library side of the building. Also in the plans were a new ADA accessible entrance where the garage door had been, and updating the interior space with ADA accessible bathrooms and a craft sink and cabinets for improved storage, among other updates.
The library has received grant funding from the Central Kansas Library System, Post Rock Community Foundation and the Dane G. Hansen Foundation to help with the improvements. With funds secured, and construction now underway, library patrons are excited to watch the changes unfold.
Last Friday, librarian Ramie Schulteis was happy to give the Sentinel and a few library patrons a short tour of the renovation progress so far, explaining where the bookshelves will be, where the children’s area will be located, where the new accessible bathrooms will be located.
Even while the renovations are ongoing, the library is open and operating out of smaller space in the front part of the City Hall side of the building. Hours are Tuesdays 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesdays 3 to 7 p.m. and Fridays 1 to 5 p.m.
“As active as this library is, this will just be so nice for the children and adults and she [Schulteis] deserves it and we all deserve it,” said Jim and Jo Eller while touring the renovations in the south side of the building.
Schulteis said during the tour that the Sylvan Grove Public Library checked out just under 10,000 items last year. In mid-November, the project started to become visible with the installation of new double doors in the center of the building. The side by side comparison of the before and after photos shows the difference and how the wider ADA doors make the building more inviting to library patrons.
In late November and early December, Schulteis and volunteers began packing up library holdings for storage while renovations are in progress. Now at the beginning of February, the new walls are framed in, sheetrocked, and painted, the bathrooms are plumbed, the HVAC is installed, and the space is starting to take shape.
Kirk Schulteis and Jim Frederick are the contractors working on the library renovations, and Roger Hayworth did the HVAC, Schulteis said. Next on the list is the flooring, and once the construction is complete, Schulteis and volunteers can begin the process of moving back into the new space. Schulteis said they have been working with Ellenz of Tipton, and showed a sample of the flooring they are considering to match the gray and teal wall paint.
“I’ve been a librarian for 23 years in September, and I’ve got a lot of awesome community support and I enjoy it. This is really exciting!” Schulteis said.
By Kris Heinze for the Lincoln Sentinel