Upgraded restrooms, new carpet, lighting, furniture and fixtures all in the works

    With a May 1 deadline to raise $25,000 in order to maximize a grant from the Otto Bremer Trust, the Crookston Library as of Tuesday has raised approximately $11,200.

    The Otto Bremer Trust in late 2017 announced it had awarded a $125,000 grant to the Crookston branch of the Lake Agassiz Regional Library system, funds that would be spent on upgrading its restrooms, furniture and other fixtures. The Trust also announced at the time that it would enhance the bottom line by an additional $25,000 if the Crookston Library could match that amount in fundraising by May 1. That would bring the total amount to be spent on upgrading and upgrading the facility to $175,000.

    The City of Crookston owns the building. In order to further accentuate the impact of the investments made possible by the grant, the Crookston City Council earlier this year decided to accelerate plans previously put in place to buy new carpet and energy-efficient lighting for the library. Those projects had been included in the City’s constantly evolving five-year capital improvement plan, but the council agreed to pursue the improvements this year.

    LARL Crookston Manager Chris Boike told the Times Tuesday that she hopes that bids for the new carpet and lighting will be on the council’s April 9 Ways & Means Committee agenda for consideration.

    As for the push to get to the $25,000 match by May 1, American Crystal Sugar has provided a major boost with a $5,000 contribution.

     “The Crookston Public Library is a beautiful facility,” said Tammy Moe, American Crystal Sugar factory cost accountant. “We’re thrilled to help with improvements to the building, so that the 77,000 visitors per year can read, learn and explore in a space that is modern, comfortable and inviting.”

    “We’re so appreciative of American Crystal’s support,” Boike tells the Times. “It’s a tremendous help to us.”

    On Monday, Boike said a lifelong Crookston resident who is remaining anonymous as of now came forth with another “generous donation” to push the current bottom line tally over the $11,000 mark. “This is somebody who definitely sees the value of what our library brings and the impact it has on the Crookston community, and beyond,” Boike said. “We continue to be so grateful for the support.”

    No donation is too small, or too big, she added. “Every single donation helps get us to where we need to go,” she said. “We continue to ask individuals, businesses and organizations to consider giving to what we feel is a really worthwhile campaign.”

    It’s important that progress continue to be made on all of the improvement projects in the works for the library, Boike stressed. “We need to keep going, keep moving forward,” she said. “Fingers crossed, we’ll be commencing with some of this work within the next month or so. We’re getting there slowly but surely, but we need to start getting some things squared away.

    “We’re so very thankful for the support we’re received and the support, hopefully, still to come,” she continued. “This is a tremendous opportunity for us and for this community.”