For many years, dedicated individuals have been working to ensure that Newton and surrounding communities have a thriving library for generations to come, by working toward a new Newton Public Library building to serve our communities.
On Dec. 27, 2022, the Newton City Commission voted to accept a bid from Dondlinger Construction for construction of the new library, clearing the way for ground to be broken sometime early in 2023.
Features of the New Library
The proposed new library will be a 30,000-square-foot facility built to the east and south of the existing building, and the current building will remain in operation during construction.
The new library will be a modern, up-to-date, and accessible building. It will also include a number of exciting new features to both enhance traditional library services and create new opportunities.
Key features of the proposed design include:
- The children’s library, with tall ceilings and windows, features a learn-play-grow area, early literacy computers, and a more intuitive arrangement for the collection. A family restroom and comfort/nursing room meet the needs of children and caretakers without having to leave the children’s area.
- The dedicated teen area encourages their use of the library, with a game zone, seating, and higher visibility for our quality young adult book collection.
- A youth programming room provides space for StoryTime, Summer Reading Program, and Game Zone, while freeing up the main meeting room for additional adult programming and community use.
- Six study rooms and a digital access lab provide room for individuals and small groups to collaborate, work, study, and create.
- Seating areas throughout the building will encourage people to linger and explore, including a covered outdoor seating area that leads out into Military Park. The layout of the park and additional parking will make possible use of the park for events such as outdoor movie nights, concerts, block parties, and farmer’s markets.
- Single-level design, drive-through service window, and off-street parking promote accessibility and access of library services. Long-standing but vital services such as public computers, faxing, newspapers, books, media and more are made more efficient and appealing.
The estimated cost of the project is just over $10 million. The City of Newton has committed $4.5 million to the project, and Newton Public Library has committed $2.7 million.
Newton Public Library Foundation, an affiliate of Central Kansas Community Foundation, is raising funds through the WHERE COMMUNITY CONNECTS Campaign to help construct the new library.
We are nearing our original $2.7 million fundraising goal, and we are grateful for every donation that has brought us to this point. But we’re not done yet!
Costs of the project have gone up substantially since those first estimates in 2020. We hope to raise an additional $600,000 to offset cost increases, and to fund some desired amenities such as a divider for the new meeting room and infrastructure for an exterior mural.
If you’re interested in supporting this campaign and helping to ensure that we have a modern, accessible, exciting new library for generations to come, there are many ways to give. Checks can be can be made out to Newton Public Library Foundation, with building fund in the memo, and mailed in care of Newton Public Library, 720 N. Oak, Newton, KS 67114.
The library foundation is an affiliate of the Central Kansas Community Foundation, and online donations can be made through their website.
If you’re interested in making a commitment over a five-year period, or have any questions about the project or campaign, please reach out to library director Cari Cusick at 316-283-2890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We appreciate the wide support that our communities have given to this project, and we’re excited for the future at Newton Public Library!