Algona Public Library awarded grant

ALGONA — The Algona Public Library was awarded a grant on Thursday to help fund an expansion project that will include new computer stations, a children’s garden, and a young adult lounge, according to the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

A $400,000 Community Attraction and Tourism grant from the Enhance Iowa Board will be used to upgrade the library, located at 210 N. Phillips St.

The total project cost is estimated at $3 million.

Algona Mayor Lynn Kueck said the community has been focused for the past two years on fundraising efforts.

“The board of trustees of the library proposed two years ago to remodel the building and had architects look at it — the HVAC, the interior plumbing, and it looked like a $3 million project,” Kueck said. “That started a campaign locally. People who support the library and want to see it go on for another 100 years. They have been very successful.”

Kueck said initially the city donated $500,000 to the project.

“Just recently, they (library board) had informed us of all their fundraising,” Kueck said. “They were about $100,000 shy of what Enhance Iowa was looking at for community support. So just at our last City Council meeting (Aug. 5), we made a plea to City Council, ‘hey we are this close, except to convince Enhance Iowa that this community is totally behind it.'”

The City Council voted unanimously to donate an additional $100,000 to get the project over the hump, Kueck said.

That money will come from the city’s local option sales tax fund.

With the boost from City Council and the grant from Enhance Iowa, Kueck is thrilled to see the project move forward.

“It’s great news,” Kueck said. “It’s now a project that will be a go.”

The 2,000-square-foot expansion and renovation will help address the library’s needs for emerging technologies, changing populations and diverse materials, according to the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

The expansion will include 12 additional computer stations, a children’s garden, a young adult lounge and five rooms for studying and activities.

The Enhance Iowa Board awarded a total of $2,556,547 in grants to Iowa communities.


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