Many of us grew up watching science fiction movies with space travelers making their way to the far reaches of outer space through cryosleep chambers where individuals were literally frozen into sometimes decades long periods of sleep. This temporary slowing of biological function assured that physiological capabilities would be preserved whenever and however the traveler finally arrived at his or her destination.
Peninsula Community Library, which is truly a living entity, is very much in a current state of suspended animation. Books and movies are packed, boxes of supplies and small furniture pieces are being temporarily adopted for storage by willing patrons, shelves are ready to be disassembled. It is an eerie feeling – a state of being neither here nor there.
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Where are we on the new building? The target date for occupancy is August 23, 2019. The parking lot and walkways have been marked. Landscaping will start going in at the end of the month. Inside, drywall is hung, the fireplace is installed and tile floors are laid. New furniture is on order and is set to be delivered the second week in August. When we finally move in, it will have been an amazing journey of only 2.75 years from dream to reality. Construction itself will have taken only ten months for a 5600 square foot facility of top notch quality. Cornwell Architects, Grand Traverse Construction, and Gosling Czubak Engineering have been incredible to work with.
So many people have gifted the project with funding, time and talent. Where would we be without all those almost 1000 donations that ranged from $10 to bake sale funds given by the kids of Old Mission Peninsula United Methodist Church to our friends of Neahtawanta who gave more than they pledged to Tom’s Food Markets who sponsored our teen and children’s areas, as well as an updated play market.
Other donors include the Kinnes, who funded a to-die-for coffee bar; the Krupka Family, who gifted a back porch because they love back porches; the Sobkowskis, Rick Laney, the Kelley Kids and Vinnie Johnson (yes, the Detroit Pistons’ “Microwave”), who gave the fireplace in honor of Mary Johnson (who wanted to see a freestanding library before she died and who is still with us); our Reading Dogs Coco and Lani, who in memory of their brothers purchased the new furniture; our very first Reading Dog Bear, who convinced me that reading dogs were a good thing in the library despite chewing up a library card; the Fredericks, who granted us a utility easement across their property; Bill and Nancy Davy, whose gift of $750,000 anchored the entire project; Tim Carroll’s world wide associates, who donated to the library in lieu of flowers when he someday passes away…
By the way, thankfully, Tim Carroll is nowhere near passing from this world to the next! And we are so grateful for his sponsorship of the History Room in the new library.
And where would we be without the organizers of events: the data trackers (thank you, Brit Eaton), our Grants Committee (love you, Gretchen Soutear) the PCL Board, the Friends of PCL, Doug Kosch and staff of The Boathouse Restaurant (a magical place!), my fellow building committee members extraordinaire Heatherlyn Johnson and Fred Zwemer, our patrons and my hardworking staff.
And let’s not forget the PCL Board of 1990, who had the foresight to purchase those 5.25 acres for a mere $50,000! We could not afford any land on the Old Mission Peninsula today!
A community has made this shared dream a reality, and as we take this time of suspended animation to take a breath and look forward, I want each of you to know that I am grateful for all you have done.
I do have one additional request. This is not the first time I have moved Peninsula Community Library, but it will be the last. When the school was renovated from 2004-2006, we moved temporarily to the old hardware section of the Peninsula Market. The community came together and took home boxes of supplies, sealed boxes of books and lighter furniture. It was such a success that we ended up on the pages of the American Library Association Journal!
I am asking for your help in a similar manner today. Tomorrow and Friday, Old Mission contractor Henry Hidalgo has volunteered his services to move what remains to the storage space we have been offered (also free of charge) by Paula Kelley, Martha and Tom Dalluge and Jon and Sue Kinne. If you can help load on Wednesday and Friday and/or transport to storage on those days, please let me know via email, firstname.lastname@example.org. We will meet at the library both days at 10 am. We are a community library, and a community has made this happen.
When I was a little girl, I was enamored of the original sci fi series Lost in Space. It was about a family adrift in the universe, searching for a way to return home. PCL is on its way to our forever home! Let me know if you can help!