, 2015

Library expansion continues to evolve

KILMARNOCK—Soon, the Lancaster Community Library (LCL) will become more than just a great library serving Lancaster County and the lower Northern Neck.

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Lancaster Community Library board members and The Nettie Lokey Wiley and Charles L. Wiley Foundation representatives, from left, are Tom Richardson, Doug Walker, Marianne Henderson, Bill Pennell, Lindsy Gardner, BHB Hubbard, Anne Davis, Gloria Conley, Tom Gosse, Leslie Franklin and Catharine Moore.

With its plans for expansion at a new location, the library will be transformed into a 21st-century community center.

LCL is ready to turn the page to a vibrant future in a new facility, said executive director Lindsy Gardner.

In January 2014, the library was presented an opportunity to purchase River Lanes and Grill, the bowling alley and restaurant property at 16 Town Centre Drive, Kilmarnock. The building was originally constructed in 2009 for $4 million on a 4-acre lot. The tax appraisal values this property at $2.5 million. After discussion and approval by the board, the library purchased the bowling alley for $800,000. It was one of the few properties in Kilmarnock with the capacity to house an expanded library without constructing a new facility from the ground up.

“The new library facility will offer something for everyone,” said Gardner.

The new library will have a greatly expanded children’s room with space for parents and children to explore books and creative play together, a dedicated space for children’s programs and a teen space with an appealing atmosphere for quiet interaction and age-appropriate technology, said Gardner.

Adults will enjoy a large technology area for use of public computers or personal devices in comfort with greater privacy. Books, audiobooks and DVDs will be on lower shelves, which will be much easier to see, reach and browse, she continued.

The building also will provide a larger meeting room to better accommodate popular programs like the Sundays at Two lecture series, a smaller meeting room for 15 to 18 people, and two or three small study rooms.

Tymoff+Moss of Norfolk has been chosen for architectural services based on its experience designing over 100 libraries in Virginia. Completion of the renovation work is estimated for early 2016, said Gardner. The projected cost of the project is $2.5 million, which includes the $800,000 purchase price, renovation costs and $250,000 toward the endowment for additional operating costs.

Gardner chairs the effort, working with capital campaign manager Marianne Henderson, a former LCL board president with experience in non-profit management.

The LCL capital campaign’s recent success in acquiring a $250,000 grant from the The Nettie Lokey Wiley and Charles L. Wiley Foundation, a $47,946 grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and individual gifts add up to over $470,000 raised thus far, about 20% of the goal.

Gardner noted the library’s appreciation for the generous gifts to date.

The fund-raising will expand to the entire community later this summer, added Henderson.

“While large grants contribute significantly to the campaign, we’re counting on the generosity of individuals and businesses in our community to get to the finish line,” she said.

“We are truly turning the page by expanding services and creating a library for the future. The opportunity to purchase the building allows us to bring those plans to fruition in a cost-effective way,” said Gardner.

The American Library Association confirms that despite the expansive digitization of information, use of libraries is expanding. This is because libraries not only offer information but also community resources and places to socialize, she said.

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