By Kristen Miller
COKATO, MN Come April, the Cokato Public Library will have a fresh new look with the completion of a $45,000 remodel project.
The public is welcome to an open house Monday, Feb. 3 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. to see just what’s in store for the library space.
“We would like the whole community to come,” said Sheila Rieke, Cokato library branch manager. “It’s really important to have the community’s involvement . . . it’s their library, and we would love their support.”
The project will include such things as new flooring, electrical updates, a new circulation desk, a safari-themed children’s area, paint, and repurposed furniture.
The estimated cost of the project is $44,660. Because the library is a city-owned building, the council approved a $19,000 contribution to be used for new flooring, paint, and the electrical upgrades.
The remodel project is in lieu of a proposed library expansion project, which didn’t receive council approval due to the cost associated with the project.
“This was a good compromise,” Rieke said, adding that the items are things that “desperately need to be done” due to overall wear-and-tear.
She also noted how hard the Friends of the Cokato Area Library (FOCAL) have worked to make this project possible by raising funds for it.
“Our FOCAL members have been working so hard to make this library better than it is,” Rieke said. “We couldn’t do it without them.”
The timeline of the project is to begin by moving all the books out Monday, April 7; and move back in Monday, April 21. Like any remodeling project, Rieke said, that is the goal, but things could change.
Karisa V Design, out of Buffalo, is the designer and general contractor for the project, however, local sub-contractors will be used when possible, Rieke said.
Rieke noted that anyone who wants to donate to the project may do so through FOCAL, or by calling the library, (320) 286-5760.
She also asks the public to refrain from donating books to the library until May 1, after the project is completed.
“We love book donations; we just can’t accept them right now,” she said.