Bainbridge Library ‘Refresh’ project gets major boost from Rotary Grant.
The Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island recently awarded a grant of $100,000 to provide the Bainbridge Public Library with an important piece of funding for a major improvement project to begin later this year.
Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island has a long history of support for the Library. The first Auction & Rummage Sale was held in 1960 to raise money to buy land for the library. In addition, proceeds from the 1963 Sale were used to purchase the library’s furnishings, and Rotary funding supported a major remodel in 1981- 82, and another major remodel and expansion in 1995-96.
Christy Givans, President of the Library Board, said that planning for the project came as a result of a 2014 survey and the realization that the last remodel was twenty years ago. The Board unanimously approved the project in October, 2015. “I am happy to report that, thanks to the excellent stewardship of the Reserve Fund, we will not have to replete our Reserves to complete the project. And the Library will stay open during construction” said Givans.
The Project: The planned “Refresh” project is the result of extensive consultations between the Library, its consumers and a specialty architectural firm. It will enable the Library to both update its facilities and adapt to changing patterns of use. There will be six major elements:
- Meeting Room changes. The solid wall that currently separates the meeting room from the rest of the library, will be replaced by a sliding glass door. Seating capacity will thereby be significantly increased, a new study area will be created and with the addition of added windows, more natural lighting and a view of the Haiku Garden will be added.
- Reconfiguration of the main floor. Many improvements that will expand reading areas and enable better use of the space available.
- Reconfiguration of the Children’s area. Improvements to sight lines and safety and many innovative design ideas to improve the use of space.
- Enlarge and remodel the staff work spaces to better serve consumers.
- Centralized service desks to provide better customer service by eliminating the need to switch between desks for different transactions.
- General improvements such as improved lighting, foyer remodel and painting.
The importance of the Library to the Island Community can be gauged from 2014 Statistics. Almost 250,000 people visited the library in 2014 and almost 400,000 items were checked out. Rebecca Judd, the Kitsap Regional Library Bainbridge Branch Manager, thinks that the project will make a big difference to library users:
“With the remodeled meeting room, library patrons will have more places to read, work, and study. When the room is not in use for meetings or programs, it can be opened to the main part of the library to create additional space. The room can also be opened to accommodate larger audiences for popular programs. We are thrilled to be able to add this flexibility without the need for a bigger footprint.”.
The Library was voted the “Non-Profit of the Year” in 2014.