Flint, Mich. – Flint Public Library has launched a $27.6 million renovation project. Proposed to begin in 2020, the renovation would create more educational opportunities and community spaces for the public.
Generous donors are prepared to provide more than half of the funding needed for this work. The Library will seek the additional $12.6 million that is needed for the project through a bond proposal on the November 5 City of Flint ballot.
“Many people don’t know this, but Flint Public Library is the only building on the Cultural Center Campus that is completely owned by the people of Flint,” said Kay Schwartz, Library Director. “Our building and its systems are 60 years old. Major renovations are needed to keep it working. Our board has adopted a renovation plan that is more cost-effective than building a new building, and now we are ready to share that plan with the public. We are very excited about what this means for the people of Flint.”
If voters approve the bond initiative, the entire interior of the Library will be renovated. Significant changes would include doubling the children’s learning space and the digital learning space. The renovated Library also would have 66 percent more space for local history and genealogy, 15 meeting rooms, and four classrooms. An additional 16,000 sq. ft. of space would be available to the public, and the building would be more accessible for people with limited mobility.
“Flint Public Library is a community center with learning and information at its core,” said Ridgway White, president and CEO of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which has made an initial grant of $1.2 million to support the renovation effort. “This project would create the kind of space and technology the community needs to meet modern-day demands.”
Once funding is secured, the project will begin in earnest. “We will be open during construction at a location that has yet to be determined,” said Schwartz. “We will be closed for approximately two months in early 2020 to pack up and move. Similarly, we will close for roughly the same amount of time to move back into the renovated facility in the early summer of 2021. We will post information about our closings and temporary location as far in advance as possible. Even when our physical location is closed, the Library’s website will still offer downloads and a portal to other services.”
The public is invited to preview the design at a series of open houses that will be held at the Library. The first open house will be held Wednesday, August 21. at 6:00 p.m. Attendees can view renderings, watch a 3D flythrough, and take the controls to zoom through the new design in a video-game-like way. Future dates for additional open houses, along with more information about the project, can be found online at YourNewFPL.org.
Featured renderings show some of the improvements Flint Public Library hopes to make if voters approve a bond proposal on the Nov. 5 City of Flint ballot.