Library expansion begins at Marion

 Workers with Hett Construction smooth the concrete floor for the addition to the Marion Public Library. The project, funded without taxpayer dollars, will add 1,200 square feet for ?programs, events, meetings and classes with a small kitchen and bathroom,? according to Janet Marler, library director. As work continues on the Marion City Library addition, the public?s help is requested in naming the new structure once it is completed.

Janet Marler, library director, said construction began Aug. 20 and the building should be finished by January 2014.

?Anyone with a great idea for the space is asked to submit their name and suggestion to the library,? she said.

The reason for involving the community in naming the addition, she said, is meant to be fun.

One of the first major steps occurred Monday when Hett Construction poured the concrete floor.

The new section of the library will be 1,200 square feet, she said.

?It will be an open area for programs, events, meetings and classes with a small kitchen and bathroom,? Marler said.

The money for the addition was raised without using tax dollars.

?It is paid for by donations, memorials left to the library and fundraisers such as the garden tour, Christmas home tours, plants and book sales,? she said. ?If someone would still like to make a donation, their name would be added to the plaque inside.?

The library is housed in the former Marion Depot, which served the Marion and McPherson railroad line and ran from Florence to Lyons until 1952.

According to historical information, the depot then sat empty for many years until several people owned it for different purposes, include a flour mill and youth center.

When the depot became available in 1998, the city council decided to buy it with the idea of renovating it for future use.

The Marion Chamber of Commerce was relocated to the depot and it was used for public meetings and tours.

By 1999, the city decided to apply for a grant to restore the depot into what is now Marion City Library.

For more information, suggestions on a name or to make a donation, call 620-382-2442 or stop by 101 Library St.

?We are anxious to be able to offer even more programs,? Marler said about the new addition.

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