News

Marion library raises $2.5 million for new building so far

The board of trustees is in the process of finding a new director

This is a rendering of the new Marion Public Library. (Engberg Anderson Architects)
This is a rendering of the new Marion Public Library. (Engberg Anderson Architects)

MARION — The Marion Public Library announced Tuesday it has raised $2.5 million so far during its capital campaign for the new library building.

“Transamerica and UFG both recently contributed $50,000 to ‘Our Next Chapter’ campaign,” Library Foundation Board President Mark Ahlers said in a news release.

The donations have moved the campaign to 76 percent of the $3.3 million goal.

Overall, Farmers State Bank is the campaign’s lead donor at $250,000. Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust, Hills Bank and Bouslog Insurance each have donated $25,000, and Ohnward Bank & Trust donated $15,000.

Additionally, the library previously secured a $450,000 CAT grant from Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Enhance Iowa Board and a $500,000 Hall Perrine matching grant.

The Our Next Chapter campaign was announced the same day as the new library’s groundbreaking in early October. The new library will cost an estimated $18 million and will be located in the 1100 block of Sixth Avenue, across the street from the old library.

The facility will be paid for through the $3.3 million capital campaign, $5 million in local-option sales tax funding, $3 million in property damage insurance and the sale of the current site, $6 million in bonding and $1 million in tax increment financing.

The new library plans to be double the size of the old building at 50,000 square feet and is expected to be completed by March 2022.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

The old library closed for good after a derecho last August swept through Marion and damaged the library’s roof and 20 percent of the library’s collection.

“Despite the pandemic and derecho that has rendered the old library uninhabitable, Marion is thriving with a booming school system and growing population,” Nancy A. Miller, honorary chair for the Our Next Chapter campaign and namesake of the old library, said in the release. “I believe the new library will play an important role in Marion’s economic development and continued growth.”

The library board is looking for a new library director as well. Director Hollie Trenary was fired without a public explanation at a November special meeting of the board.

The board has established a search committee and expects applications to close in early March, according to a tentative timeline document.

The document also shows that a tentative date for the new director is to be determined but would happen after April.

Comments: (319) 398-8255; gage.miskimen@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.