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January 09, 2013
Westbrook Library completes addition
Westbrook Public Library will celebrate new addition with open house next week
|Children have an area they can browse through youth books and use game computers.|
|Tom Merchant photo|
WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Westbrook — Over the years the Westbrook Public Library has grown from a 12 by 20 foot room in the old fire hall to a modern approximately 2200 square foot facility.
The first expansion of the library happened in the early 1970’s when it was moved to a building on the south end of First Avenue. The move, at the time, more than doubled the library space, and the city council chambers was also moved to the back end of the building. The building is now occupied by K&C Repair.
In the mid-nineties the library was moved again when the city council and municipal utilities built a new building on the southwest corner of Sixth Street and First Avenue. It is housed in the rear end of the new city hall.
For several years the library board considered a building expansion plan, but they did not have the money to proceed with it at the time.
In April of 2011 Mayor Rocky Kolar attended a library board meeting and told the board they would be getting $30,000 from the City of Westbrook as part of the final disbursement of the Maylen and Alyce Peterson estate money.
At that time the board voted to proceed with fund raising to put on an addition of 30 by 43 feet. Fund raising efforts then began in earnest.
Beside the fund raising efforts of the library itself, there were several large donations received from the Westbrook Womens Club, WAV, Kiwanis Club, Westbrook Lions Club, Westbrook VFW Club, Westbrook Public Utilities, Bank Midwest, Westbrook Ag Power, Tom Tighe Construction, and Onken Backhoe Service. A grant was also received from the American Library Foundation to develop a teen area.
Librarian Kari Ourada said, “we were able to reach our goal of $75,000 plus in less than a year.”
Trent Baker Construction was named as general contractor for the project, mechanical contractors, were Ron's Electric and Tri-Town Plumbing and Heating. Work on the project began early in the spring of 2012.
August 21 the library closed so indoor work could be completed on the addition. The library opened again on October 15.
The new facility now features a much more spacious look with casual areas dedicated to teens and children. There are six computers with internet connections, two lap tops, and three game computers in the children’s area.
Ourada said, she enjoys having a central check out desk — it makes it much easier to see all areas of the library. Of course the overall increase in book space is a real plus. “We now actually have vacant space to add new books,” Ourada said. “People have made a lot of positive comments about the new look and spaciousness of the library.”
An open house is being planned for Thursday January 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served and there will be door prizes.
Authors Scott Thoma who wrote Out of the Blue, a chronicle of the Tracy tornado, and local children’s author Robin Madson will be doing book signing and reading.
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