Reed City Area Public Library celebrates grand opening

Dozens of Reed City residents turned out on Thursday, June 7, to celebrate the grand opening of the new library location.

The journey to move the Reed City Area Public Library to the new location from the basement of the Osceola County Courthouse started in 2008 with a wish list of what the community wanted. The list included for the building to be in the Reed City Downtown Development Authority zone, by the schools, to be by the White Pine Trail and with sidewalks in front, said Christine Cox, president of Reed City Area District Library Board.

“Through the course of remodeling and moving, we had a lot of volunteers from among library supporters who helped tremendously and we couldn’t have done it without them,” said Cox. “We had a number of people who wanted to volunteer beyond our need to use them.”

The project cost the library $480,000 to complete and took nearly eight years from planning to completion. The building chosen used to house classes for St. Philip Neri Catholic School, and was gutted to give 2,000 square feet of extra space for library shelves and reading areas.

“I came in on this project of June of 2008,” said Cox. “It took two years before we found this building. We asked the DDA and the city for help, and we got together to look at what’s available. The day before the first meeting, the school put this building up for sale. So, we put in an offer and the school wanted us to have it.”

Donations from the community have been generous, and 145 families have given money to support the library, Cox said. More fundraisers are planned with two coming up soon, she added.

“From 2 until 8 p.m. Friday, July 15, there will be a garden walk fundraiser for the library,” said Heather Symon Bassett, Library Director at the Reed City Public Library. “Tickets can be purchased for $10 beforehand at the library or the day of for $15.”

A garage sale fundraiser also will happen this weekend from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, July 14, and Friday, July 15, and from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, July 16, at 225 North Park St. in Reed City, she added.

Cox said the community has been extremely helpful through the support given by individual donors and organizations that have made grants to the library, which has received roughly $36,000 through grants and $8,000 through fundraisers.

Contributions have included a total of $8,000 from Great Lakes Energy and $24,000 from the Osceola County Community Foundation for plumbing and to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for access.

“This library is something Reed City area residents can enjoy for many years, and we’re really happy with what we have,” Cox said.

More information on the Reed City Area Public Library can be found and on Facebook searching for Reed City Library.