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Library board establishes new fund for building project

At its Oct. 26 meeting, the Friday Memorial Library Board approved the creation of a New Richmond Area Community Foundation fund, that will only be used for funds going toward new construction for a new library building.

“This new fund is specifically and only for new construction, not for anything else, like buying books,” said Library Board President Jeff Peplau. “We are hoping to have things decided and the project underway by this spring.”

According to Interim Library Director Jennifer Rickard, the new fund was created to take in a substantial donation, which is only allowed to be used in construction for a new library building.

“I would think that we will know what the donation is by the end of the year,” Peplau said. “The fund should be active by then as well and there will be a fundraising drive to help raise money for that fund as well.”

The library board also discussed its willingness to consider the Community Commons as an option for the new library building’s location.

“We will be having our first meeting at the Community Commons with Mike Darrow and Jeff Moberg to discuss the board considering that spot for the new library,” Peplau said.

Peplau and the board are hoping to settle on a location for the library in the near future because the current library is getting more and more cramped every day.

“We would like to have more space because the library the way it is makes it hard to even host a guest speaker and there isn’t even room for kids to study if they want to study as a group,” Peplau said. “The library board can’t even meet in the library because there isn’t enough room. We have to meet over at city hall. Another example of how little space we have is that every time we buy a book we have to get rid of another book.”

If a new building is not built in the next few years, the current library will need to be updated, Peplau said.

“The current library needs some substantial work since it was built in the ‘60s,” Peplau said. “Things have not really been renovated in the library since then.”

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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