Most noticeable of the projects under way at Graham Public Library are new windows. Other improvements include a new furnace, new lighting and roof insulation. (Photo by Julie Rossman)

By Julie Rossman

Correspondent

Graham Public Library patrons, and even plenty of passers-by, have noticed the renovation work that’s been in progress for several weeks now.

The most noticeable project involves new windows, while other improvements include a new furnace, new lighting and roof insulation.

No new tax dollars are being spent on the nearly $250,000 renovation project, said Graham Public Library Board President Marge Demuth.

Due to the “foresight and frugal management” of former board members, she said, the project will be paid for.  In addition, a private generous donation from an estate a few years ago is also funding the project.

Demuth explained that the library receives some funding from Racine County and from the Village of Union Grove.  Previous boards of directors had the foresight to set aside monies for the future from that funding.

“We felt we needed to maintain our library and keep it up to date,” Demuth said.

According to Demuth, the original, single-pane windows were 50 years old and caused “cold spots” of temperature inside the library.

The original boiler needed repeated repairs and was not energy efficient. Demuth said the roof was never insulated, which has contributed to ice dams and heat loss.  Existing lighting will be replaced by new, energy-efficient light fixtures.

While these improvements may not seem very glamorous, they will go a long way in lowering the library’s energy costs, she added.

Demuth says the library will also receive energy rebates for making the improvements.

Both of these factors will help offset a decrease in their budget, Demuth noted, explaining that library funding from the Village of Union Grove will be reduced by 10 percent due to state budget cuts.

Circulation at the library has continued to grow and is up 10 percent from last year, Demuth added. She says the sharing program Graham Public Library has with other area libraries has contributed to that growth.

“Sharing with other libraries has allowed us to still serve clients without having to increase our inventory of books, CDs and other resources,” Demuth said.

Graham Public Library is open during the renovation project, which is scheduled to be complete by mid-November.

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