Sturgis library renovation nearly complete

Pictured is one-half of the new community room at the Sturgis Public Library. The new room will seat 80 and can be divided in half for multiple uses. Pioneer photo by Deb Holland

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STURGIS — The countdown to the big reveal has begun and Sturgis Public Library Director Julie Peterson can’t contain her excitement.

She and members of the library board recently gathered to talk about the $500,000 renovation of the library including a groovy new children’s area, 1,000 square-foot community room and 350 square-foot kitchen and storage area.

“Everything is empty, so we want to stock it with new items,” library board member Kelly Magdanz said of the new kitchen.  

People can donate anything from measuring cups to a new high-end mixer to the library’s new kitchen. You can find a list of items here: https://tinyurl.com/y6mf5bzc

The kitchen was built in what had been an outdoor play space on the south side of the library. It has stainless steel appliances and a beautiful moveable kitchen island equipped with electrical outlets that pop up from the top of the island.

Peterson said she envisions teen cooking classes, meal preparation planning classes and canning classes as just a few of the programs that could use the new kitchen.

“It is designed to be flexible and used for many purposes, whether it be teaching or serving small events,” she said. 

Lee Stroschine, the Adult Outreach & Programming Librarian, already has been working with Coleen Keffeler, the culinary arts instructor at Sturgis Brown High School, about possible programs to be held in the new kitchen.

And for the middle and teen-age youth, the library is looking at a program called “Bookies & Cookies” where they will bake cookies and talk about a book they are reading.

The new kitchen is not an industrial kitchen, instead it is a functional, good kitchen that will complement the new meeting space at the library, said library board member Terry Hermann.

People can donate cash or purchase items for the new kitchen. The following local businesses carry some of the items on the list: Ace Hardware, Black Hills Rally & Gold, Rockingtree Floral & Garden, Family Dollar and Dollar General.

And speaking of donations, all the furnishing in the newly renovated library were donated by a private donor, Hermann said. They aren’t revealing the donor just yet. But they are pleased to have high-end appliances in the kitchen and new audio/visual equipment.

The other showpiece of the renovated library is the community room which is large enough to hold 80 people for a presentation or event. It can also be divided in half to create smaller rooms for different events with the same equipment to project presentations.

The renovation of the children’s area of the library will add needed space, upgrades, and organization, Peterson said.  The main children’s area and stacks will get an additional 500-square-feet of space with new finishes including casework, carpet tiles, paint/wall covering, a new ceiling and LED lights. The total children’s area will now be more than 2,500 square feet.

It will integrate the finishes into the design with reading nooks and focused areas for studying, small groups, as well as computer stations, Peterson said. 

“The transformation of these spaces will truly be unique, fun, and enable us to provide more space for the kids to study, read with parents, and access computers,” she said.  

The colors are bright and retro with geometric shapes.

The renovation began in March with Scull Construction as the main contractor. Many of the children’s books were moved to other areas of the library during the renovation.

The library use $225,000 from its Capital Library Fund to help pay for the remodel. With the remainder coming from city funds.

Peterson said the remodel makes it possible for the library to provide programs and events that are not currently feasible.

On many occasions, the History at High Noon program at the library filled the meeting room and even overflowed into other areas. The new space should be able to accommodate the crowds.

An open house, ribbon cutting and chamber mixer at the renovated Sturgis Public Library is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17.

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