Monday, December 22, 2014

Pomona planning new library

By ABBY ECKEL, Herald Staff Writer | 12/18/2013

POMONA — Marie Seneca said she’s looking forward to painting with the colors of her imagination.

After numerous fundraising events, a grant and help from a friend, Pomona Friends of the Library purchased attorney William Bayne’s old building at 115 Franklin St., Pomona, Seneca, Pomona mayor and president of Pomona Friends of the Library, said.

“We purchased the building in the spring,” she said. “William Bayne was gracious enough to sell it to us to be used for the purpose of the library and sold it to us at a low enough price to pay cash for it and do renovations that are necessary.”

A $20,000 grant from the Goppert Foundation helped with being able to pay cash for the new building, as well as to complete some renovations, Seneca said, meaning no cost to taxpayers.

The current library, 219 Jefferson St., Pomona, is a shared area and space and hours are limited, Seneca said. Friends of the Library is gifting the use of the newly purchased building to the library, she added.

“There’s just no room for expansion at the current facility,” Seneca said. “We’ve outgrown it and would like to be able to be open in the evenings and weekends and provide more supportive services than what we currently do.”

Though the building was purchased last spring, renovations have just gotten started and Seneca said she hopes to have the new facility open at the beginning of March 2014.

“The roof is a few years old and as a library it’s critical not to have any leaks or issues,” she said. “And more electrical upgrades to accommodate more computer usage, and more flooring and painting [are needed].”

A fresh coat of paint is another coming change, which Seneca said excites her.

“We’re limited with colors in the library and there’s no opportunity to paint,” she said. “Here we’ll be able to use bright colors and let our imaginations go wild with decorating.”

Along with a new facility and freshly painted walls will be expanded hours and services, Seneca said.

“We’ll have expanded hours, more space and expanded services such as art classes, summer reading programs, computer classes to reach a broader section of people,” she said. “We plan on having more art shows and reaching out to more artists and the excitement of the children having their own room so they can have activities on their own and play and make as much noise as they need to make.”

Limited space and sharing a facility with city hall was putting a damper on the number of people using the library and its services, Seneca said, but she’s hoping that will change with the new library.

“Some people just didn’t wish to use the library because it was housed in city hall,” she said. “If they had a disagreement with city hall in any way they didn’t want to use any building. With us being separate and highly visible on the main street, hopefully we’ll be able to reach more people that way.”

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