Focus on Watertown library remodel shifts to private fundraising

Watertown librarian Kristin Jones places the first heart on a larger heart that adorns the wall at the local branch of the Carver County Library. A fundraising effort is under way in an attempt to raise $30,000 to supplement this spring’s remodeling project at the library. Anybody who donates $5 or more gets a heart on the wall.  (Staff photo by Matt Bunke)

Watertown librarian Kristin Jones places the first heart on a larger heart that adorns the wall at the local branch of the Carver County Library. A fundraising effort is under way in an attempt to raise $30,000 to supplement this spring’s remodeling project at the library. Anybody who donates $5 or more gets a heart on the wall.
(Staff photo by Matt Bunke)

After recently gaining approval from both the City of Watertown and Carver County for a $190,000 remodeling project at the Watertown Library, Carver County Library Director Nick Dimassis said the focus now will shift to seeking additional private funds for the project.

The City of Watertown has committed $50,000 to the project and Carver County has committed $140,000. However, Dimassis said he hopes to generate as much as $30,000 from additional fundraising efforts to even further improve the Watertown library.

“The county and the city have committed the funds they were able and have been incredibly supportive of this project,” Dimassis said. “But we intentionally left a challenge for a private fundraising effort led by the Watertown Friends of the Library in partnership with the Library Foundation of Carver County to raise the additional funds to complete the project. The goal is $30,000, and we know it’s achievable.”

The library remodel is scheduled to start in early May and close the library for four weeks. When it reopens in late May — scheduled for May 28 — the number of public-use computers is expected to have grown from four to 12, the children’s area will be expanded, new furniture will have been installed and self-checkout stations will be in place.

“In order to meet the remodel deadlines, the fundraising campaign will need to be aggressive in terms of raising dollars quickly,” Dimassis said. “I know residents will respond. We’ve already heard from folks wanting to know how and where they can contribute.”

Contribution forms are available at the front desk at the library. Residents can also make a donation to the “Heart Board” on the wall of the library by making a simple $5 donation. Heidi Hoks, branch manager for the three western Carver County libraries, including Watertown, said there are other ways to contribute as well.

Anybody wishing to contribute construction or labor for the remodel can contact Hoks by March 15 at 952-856-4503, or hhoks@co.carver.mn.us.  Anyone wishing to donate time to move library items such as shelving and books during the remodel can sign up on a remodel form, which will come out on April 1.

Library officials have already held an informational meeting in late February, and hope to continue to speak with donors throughout the community. Dimassis said they’ll be looking to hold one or two community events at the library over the next several months in order to raise awareness of the fundraising efforts.

“I’m just really eager to get to know the community a lot better and to talk to the folds in the community and hear how we can make the library the heart of the community that it has been and will continue to be,” he said.”

Contact Matt Bunke at matt.bunke@ecm-inc.com

 
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