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Marengo library agrees to state money

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

MARENGO – The Marengo-Union library almost has its hands on more than $500,000 in state money that will shore up financing for a long-sought move to a larger, renovated space.

Library officials are looking at the latter half of 2013 to start renovating the former Miceli drapery plant, 19714 E. Grant Highway. The board last week approved a $543,715 state grant that will pay for the majority of the work.

Once state library officials endorse the grant, the library will prepare construction bids for the renovation. Last year, Secretary of State Jesse White selected Marengo as one of 16 projects for the state’s library construction grant program.

“The grant is a validation to the community that the library was on the right track to take these steps,” Library Director Mary Hanson said.

The library began seeking state money soon after acquiring the 30,000-square-foot drapery plant for $1.2 million in June 2011.

Officials plan to use the state grant and library reserves for an estimated $785,000 in work at the new location.

The library board could have approved the state grant last month, but members wanted more time to review terms of the state agreement. On Jan. 22, the board endorsed the grant, 6-1, with Julie LaGue voting no. She could not be reached for comment.

The larger space should allow the library to better meet growing demand for its services, Hanson said.

With construction in sight, the board’s fundraising panel is brainstorming a campaign to enhance the new facility. Donations could be used for ancillary equipment and technology and to decorate the renovated space, Hanson said.

The panel has not yet set a donation goal.

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