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It’s that charitable time of year, and in case you hadn’t heard, we’re building a new Peninsula Community Library (PCL) on the Old Mission Peninsula! I say “we” because this project is most assuredly a community effort. It’s also a great way to be part of something centered in both the history and future of the Old Mission Peninsula.

The construction of the new library will be 100 percent financed by private individual and corporate contributions and foundation grants. The goal is to break ground in the spring of 2018 and be in the new building by the summer of 2019.

Ready to be part of this amazing community project? To become a donor, make checks payable to “Peninsula Community Library Building Fund,” and mail to Peninsula Community Library, 2699 Island View Road, Traverse City, MI 49686.

PCL is a tax-exempt organization, under IRS rulings. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. For donations requiring a 501(c) 3 designation, checks should be made out to “Friends of Peninsula Community Library/Building Fund.”

Gifts of securities and appreciated stock are also welcome. Call (231) 223-7700 for more info about this or anything related to the building project.

As we reported in October, a generous gift of $155,000 from Tom’s Food Markets brought the fundraising campaign to nearly $1.6 million. The library has a goal of raising $2 million by Jan. 1, 2018 and meet their fundraising goal of $2.5 million by July 1, 2018.

The new library will be built on 5.25 acres on the corner of Center Road and Island View Road on the Old Mission Peninsula. Let’s take a look at a few details about the new building project and the history of the library.

PCL Has Deep Roots on the Old Mission Peninsula. We can trace the beginnings of the library back to 1859, when books were housed in a private home on the Old Mission Peninsula. In 1910, the books were moved and apportioned to the seven one-room schoolhouses on the Peninsula. In 1957, the books were moved to the stage of the newly built Old Mission Peninsula School, and in 1959 by vote of Peninsula Township residents, PCL became an independent township library as defined by the Library Law of the State of Michigan. In 1984, PCL became a member of the Traverse Area District Library, while retaining their independent status as as township library. And in 1990, a forward-looking PCL board purchased the land that will soon be the home of the new library.

Why We’re Building a New Library: PCL is not only bursting at the seams, but the fact that it’s housed inside the Old Mission Peninsula School creates limitations that can be avoided in a standalone library, including limited parking and congestion at the beginning and end of the school day. Also, special security requirements to protect students – including locked doors, buzzer systems for visitors, and lock-down events and exercises – are necessary today, but contrary to the basic tenets of a public library. And, most library programming is limited to the evenings due to space availability and classes in session, which negatively impacts attendance by the Peninsula’s older residents, who make up the largest segment of our community.

A Free-Standing Library Offers Endless Possibilities. Some of the elements incorporated into the new building include:

  • A Community Room with up-to-date audio and video capabilities. This room will hold up to 120 people and be available for use by any Peninsula group or club. Smaller rooms for committee meetings or any small group with a valid need will also be available.
  • A History Room dedicated to local historical materials, which are extensive in view of the fact that the Peninsula was occupied by both Native Americans and Europeans prior to the establishment of Traverse City.
  • Dedicated space for residents to use the latest technology, as well as WIFI ports located near seating areas.
  • On-site storage for books, games, DVDs, puzzles and more, donated throughout the year for the Annual Book Sale held by the Friends of PCL (a major fundraiser for the library).
  • Adequate parking space not shared with another entity, including handicapped spots.

The Building Location and Design. As mentioned, the 5.25 acres was purchased by a previous PCL board with an eye on the future. The land is a stone’s throw from Old Mission Peninsula School, soon to be a charter school under the guidance of the Old Mission Peninsula Education Foundation. It’s also close to the geographic center of the Peninsula. The building itself is designed to fit with the rural character of Peninsula Township, looking like a farmhouse with a front porch, a screened-in back porch, and a detached carriage house for storage. The plan also incorporates outdoor gardens, a children’s play area, and a patio with room for future expansion. Designed by Cornwell Architects of Traverse City, the building will consist of nearly 5700 square feet of interior space, with parking for 61 vehicles and 4 handicapped spots.

For more about Peninsula Community Library, visit their website or call (231) 223-7700.

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