MARSHALL - With the first shovelfuls of earth turned on Saturday afternoon, a vision for the Marshall-Lyon County Library took one more step forward. Local residents and officials celebrated the groundbreaking for construction of the library's new children's wing.
"This is a very good day," said Marshall Mayor Bob Byrnes, addressing the audience gathered at the library. Because of the community partnerships supporting the children's wing project, he said, "This has moved a lot faster than I think anyone envisioned."
The 6,000 square-foot children's wing was part of the library's original building design but had to be left out of the first phase of construction for budgetary reasons. In December, Robert L. and Phyllis Carr announced that they would be donating the cost and construction of the children's wing, which comes to about a $1.7 million value.
Photo by Deb Gau
Kids got a chance to take part in Saturday’s groundbreaking for the Marshall-Lyon County Library children’s wing. With a little help from her dad Ryan Linder, Madisyn Linder hammered a stake marking one corner of the building’s planned footprint into the lawn outside the library.
The children's wing will also free up additional space for study rooms and special collections.
Byrnes and Lyon County Board Chairman Rick Anderson thanked the Carrs for helping to make the children's wing possible. The public library is an asset to the county, Anderson said.
As was fitting for the building project, kids were invited to be part of the groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday. With a little help from grownups, they hammered stakes decorated with colored ribbons into the ground to mark the dimensions of the new children's wing. They also got their own shovels to join in the digging.
Construction of the children's wing won't be endpoint for the library's vision, however. Al Kruse, speaking on behalf of the Marshall-Lyon County Library Foundation, said a fundraising drive is gearing up for furnishings and fixtures for the new wing, as well as an outdoor reading court. The city of Marshall is contributing $153,000 to be matched by private donations. The goal to meet the match is to raise $164,000, Kruse said.
Kruse said that's definitely a reachable goal.
"It's 164 people giving $1,000. It's 328 people giving $500, or 656 people giving $250," he said. "We need to keep stepping forward."
Kruse said fundraising appeal letters will be mailed out to local residents. Informational brochures on the project are available at the library.