The Vision Iowa Board pledged more than $230,000 towards the construction of a new public library in Donnellson. Brenda Knox, who is the director of the library, said the announcement means so much for her and the community.
“It was such a huge relief and I just felt so happy because it’s been so long. We have been fundraising for 5 years,” said Knox.
Knox said the grant means there is now enough money on hand to build the roughly $900,000 library at its new location along Main Street, which has already been cleared in anticipation of construction.
“We will be doing a little more fundraising for décor and furnishings, but the shell of the building, we should have enough now to build,” said Knox.
Knox said the library will feature an open floor plan, which will allow staff and volunteers to have a better view of the entire facility. There will also be improved accessibility and additional space for books and computers.
Knox said two additional highlights will be a room dedicated to programs, be they educational or community-based, and an improved local and family history area.
“They will get a little more room and have a better lay-out for their materials,” said Knox, “and the Richard Proenneke museum area. We are honoring the memory of Richard Proenneke, who was a very well-known naturalist and homesteader in Alaska, who is famous for his journals and his photographs, we will have that area dedicated to his memory.”
Knox believes the potential tourism draw of the museum helped Donnellson secure the state grant.
She said there is still some design work left to do before the project can go out for bid. Her goal is to hold a ground-breaking ceremony this summer and for the building to be completed one year later.