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Kirkland Lake library revamp $100K away from its goal

The cash is being raised to upgrade the children's department

The Town of Kirkland Lake needs to raise another $100,000 to upgrade the children’s department at the library.

If the $600,000 goal is reached, renovations at the Teck Centennial Library, which is located at 10 Kirkland St. E., would likely begin in the winter of 2024, though the town said they could start as early as this November.

While the town said it's confident the money will be obtained, if the goal isn't met, the cost of the project will be reduced.

“We will decide which elements of the program and design are essential and which we will forego at this time in order to meet the budget. We will also aim to add to the project in future years if and when more funds are donated or obtained through grants,” said the town in a statement.

The renovations will enhance the physical department of the children’s department, ensure access, services, furnishings and technology are accessible to persons with disabilities, create greater functional space for programs and services, for example.

Board chair Shirley Scott said the children’s department serves as a community hub.

“It connects children, youth, and families to information and connects children and youth to each other. It provides a safe haven for children and youth through after-school programming, such as help with homework, games, and book clubs,” she wrote.

“Over the past five years, the number of individuals attending the children’s department has grown dramatically with no signs of slowing down as more and more programs are offered to meet demand.”

Since 2017,  the town says participation in children’s programming has increased by 407 per cent with 4,509 participants.

Due to the increase in usage of the library, the town said it needs more functional space. The renovations should increase the space by 40 per cent, with the number of seats increasing from 22 to 74.

Kirkland Lake Mayor Stacy Wight told TimminsToday she is so pleased with the progress of the project.

“The refresh of this department will have long-lasting and positive effects for children and families within our service area,” she said.

“We are thankful to our donors, those who volunteered their time and services as well as the children and families who took part in the development of this project.  I look forward to seeing shovels in the ground; or rather hammers in the walls very soon.”

When renovations commence, the physical location of the children’s department will close for approximately three to four months — the estimated time period to complete the project — however, programs and services will continue in other areas of the library or in other locations in the town.

Access to the most popular books and items in the children’s collection will be available in the adult department of the library, but access to the entire children’s collection will not be available during the renovation period.

Donations can be made at Town Hall at 3 Kirkland St. W. More information on the project, including ways to donate, is available here

About the Author: Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Marissa Lentz covers civic issues along the Highway 11 corridor under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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