Heart of America Library applies for USDA grant, loan
The Heart of America Library Board has applied for both a USDA Rural Development low interest loan and grant to install an elevator and second handicap-accessible restroom at the library in Rugby.
Now it’s the waiting game.
“Hopefully, we can get funding support from them,’ said Amy Bryn, librarian. “The grant would fund up to 35 percent of the project and the rest would be (financed) through the loan.”
There hasn’t been a design plan drafted, but the construction and engineer fees are expected to cost upwards of $150,000.
“If the application is approved, then the step would be to go through an engineer,’ Bryn said.
The elevator would be installed in the middle of the library, allowing both stair wells to remain open. Bryn said that was a requirement of the Fire Marshal.
The main collection of books and other resources as well as the computers are on the ground level, but the library staff and patrons use the basement for reading programs activities, art shows and other public displays. Plus, there is a large meeting area used for the adult eduction program. The elevator would enable handicap-accessible access to the basement for those activities.
Eight years ago the Library Board called on Pierce County and city of Rugby voters to pass a bond issue to fund a 2,500 square-foot addition complete with an elevator. However, it did not receive the required 60 percent approval. A few years later the library did manage to set aside building funds and use donations and awarded grants to build a 1,250 addition to the west side complete with a new entrance and a handicap-accessible restroom. The elevator, however, had to wait.
Bryn said it’s the last building enhancement to the facility which opened in the late 1960s.
To date, the library has collected about $14,000 in donations toward the elevator installation project. Bryn said that generous support by patrons and supporters of the library show the importance of completing the project.
Donations continue to be collected and anyone interested in giving funds toward the project, can contact Bryn and
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