2018-07-05 / Life in Leelanau

Funds for library fix-up eclipse $1 million mark


DAVID DILLER, director of the Glen Lake Community Library, is shown here sharing plans for the library’s $1.75 million expansion/renovation project. DAVID DILLER, director of the Glen Lake Community Library, is shown here sharing plans for the library’s $1.75 million expansion/renovation project. Supporters of the Glen Lake Community Library have reached a milestone in raising funds for their $1.75 million construction/renovation plans.

Library director David Diller reports that gifts and pledges topped $1 million last week, about one month after a fundraising drive began over Memorial Day weekend.

“We’ve had a very good response,” Diller said. “We started out with about $400,000 from bequests. But $1 million is still a great place to be.”

For the past several years, the Library Board has been studying expansion of the library, which serves Empire, Glen Arbor and Kasson township.

The library building, located on Front Street across from the Empire Township Hall in Empire, once served as the community fire house. The long, skinny building is accessed at the side of the structure and offers little space for programs and community groups to gather.

Several years ago, the library purchased an adjacent lot with the thought of expanding the facility in the future.

In 2016, the Library Board formed a committee to examine space needs, a consultant was hired, a survey completed and last summer, an architect was hired to develop conceptual plans for the project.

As proposed, existing space will be renovated and 2,400 square feet of additional space constructed.

At this point, Diller said architects are developing details plans that will be used for bid purposes.

The expansion represents a major undertaking as the library will have to be relocated elsewhere during construction.

The estimated cost of the project — $1.75 million — will be funded through donations.

None of the .28-mill property tax levied in Empire, Glen Arbor and Kasson townships for operations will be used for construction.

Meanwhile, the fundraising campaign continues with about $750,000 left to raise.

Additional information about the project can be found at the library’s website.

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