Boike says progress so far on renovations and upgrades is amazing

    While the major renovations and upgrades at the Crookston Public Library are well underway on their way toward a completion date by Nov. 1, library proponents still haven’t quite raised all of the money necessary to maximize the funding previously awarded to the library project by the Otto Bremer Trust.

    The Crookston City Council, not wanting to waste an opportunity to leverage every last Otto Bremer Trust dollar being made available, says it’ll step in to provide the last few thousand dollars necessary to do so, if library proponents aren’t able to raise it all.

    “It’s a public building and we’ve gotten a big boost here,” Mayor Wayne Melbye says. “I would hate to lose $5,000.”

    That’s about how much Crookston Library Branch Manager Chris Boike said last week was left to be raised. The Otto Bremer Trust initially awarded a $125,000 grant, and said it would kick in another $25,000 if that amount was matched by fundraising.

    “We can keep pushing, and approaching businesses and individuals,” Boike said. “But we don’t want to wear out our welcome; people already get asked so many times to give to so many things.”

    Meanwhile, the renovations and upgrades continue full steam ahead. Just the new lights and light fixtures that have gone in, in the former of brighter, higher-efficiency LED lights, have made a “night and day” difference, Boike says.

    One bathroom renovation is essentially complete, with the second bathroom to come. Boike is ordering the new furnishings, which could take up to three months to arrive. New carpeting is also part of the project.

    If the City has to kick in some money, it’ll come from the Municipal Land and Buildings Fund. It has a current balance of around $1.1 million, Finance Director Angel Weasner says.

    Boike says she’s amazed at the progress so far.

    “It’s unbelievable, all things considered,” she says. “If someone would have said we’d be this far by now, I would have said they’re crazy.”

    She encourages people to stop in and check it all out.