Project plans call for completely renovating and reconfiguring the existing 3,400 square-foot library on Front Street in Empire, plus constructing a new 2,400 square-foot addition that will spread into vacant adjacent property purchased by GLCL in 2013. The design aims to “successfully blend the new construction with the existing building,” according to project documents, optimizing natural lighting and offering an “architecturally distinctive” exterior with “welcoming, accessible spaces” throughout the building.
The nearly 7,000 square-foot new library will feature increased available space for educational programs, collections, seating areas, study spaces, and technology. GLCL Director David Diller says the existing facility’s capacity is “maxed out,” particularly in the library’s ability to host guests and events and act as a community gathering space. Nearly 17,000 people use the library annually, with close to 29,000 check-outs in a service area – Empire, Glen Arbor, and Kasson townships – that has a total population of 3,650. More than 950 people attended events at GLCL last year, including story hours, movie screenings, nature presentations, and author visits.
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