Marion library staff host open house for new addition

Janet Marler (middle), Marion City Library director, thanks the public for making the new $120,000 addition a reality Friday during an open house celebration. Standing at left is Marler?s husband, Doug; to the right is Rachelle Thurston, one of the library staff members, who were helping at the open house.At a cost of $120,000, but using no tax dollars, the 30-foot by 40-foot addition at Marion City Library is completed.

The project started about six months ago on Aug. 20, and Friday an open house celebration saw more than 75 people attend the come-and-go event.

Pauline Holub, president of the library board, spoke to a small group of people prior to open house festivities.

?It takes a multitude of people to make something like this happen, not just one person,? she said. ?Without everybody?s help and the many financial contributions we received, this project wouldn?t have been a possibility.?

In addition to recognizing the contractor, engineer and others involved in the project, Holub also thanked Janet Marler, library director, for the extra duties she took on.

?We have to recognize Janet because she had a vision and a dream,? Holub said. ?She knew what she wanted and did all she could to put it together.?

A big benefit

Holub said this addition will be a big benefit to the city of Marion, to the community and the library.

Marler also wanted to thank everyone for their help.

?I want to thank everyone for donations and memorials,? she said. ?Once again, it is unbelievable what we accomplished with the depot first, and now this coming through for us.?

For Marion City Councilor Todd Heitschmidt, he said he was representing three roles, as a private donor, a donor from Central National Bank and as a representative of the city.

?It is a great addition to the library,? he said. ?For the community, it fills a need that we don?t have at other places.?

Heitschmidt said a lot can be achieved in Marion when people work together.

?In this situation, it was coming up with a plan, the right ideas, getting the right folks together between the students, city support and donors and then making things happen,? he said.

As for future projects, Heitschmidt said he believes people will see a lot more of this going on within the city.


Bruce Winkler, who has served on the library board for four years, said he thinks the memorials were a big part of making the addition a reality.

?We would have had to do a lot of fundraising had we not had those memorials in place,? he said. ?We are really grateful to have those memorials.?

In talking about the memorial gifts, Winkler added that a lot of people who gave these memorials didn?t want the money used for operations or buying books.

?These donors wanted it for a project,? he said. ?We had talked about this way back when, and said someday we will do it.

?We finally needed to decide to jump in and do it or forget about it,? adding he was glad the board chose to do the project.

Students help out

Lucas King, MHS construction technology teacher, said along with Gerald Boese, he and the morning and afternoon classes did all the framing, sheeting, putting on the metal roof, setting trusses, drywalling and painting.

?USD 408 donated a $1 per square foot saving $1,200 or 1 percent of the project cost,? he said. ?We had 14 students speeding the project along, too.?

Another plus for the students was being able to work on grid ceiling, which was something they hadn?t done before.

?It was good experience for them,? he said. ?(The project) was also a great way to give back to the community.

The construction technology class started in 2006 and King said he has been with it from the beginning.

City Administrator Roger Holter said the addition was ?very nice.?

At one time, he said, the depot was going to be razed, but look at it now.

On the house

Darin Neufeld, engineer with EBH?& Associates, said that from the first discussions about the project, no bill was presented and there won?t be one.

?This is our community, too, and we did it at no charge,? he said, ?as well as the other contractors who trimmed a lot off their costs.?

One example, he noted, was Hett Construction and how his overhead was very low.

?He built no profit into it,? Neufeld said about Hett. ?A lot of other subcontractors did the same thing.?

Neufeld said everything went smooth.

?It was also nice to work with all the local contractors,? he said. ?Everyone came together and did what it took to get the project done regardless of the little details that could come up and cause problems.?

Although Neufeld is not an architect, he said he did the design work and worked through the construction process coordinating it and other aspects of the project.

On the first day after the project was designed, Neufeld said, the addition wasn?t going to be 90 degrees square to the main building.

?Originally, it was going to be at an angle,? he said. ?As Davey (Hett) was out here stripping the grass back and we started looking at things, it was decided to square it up.?

One thing that had to be done after squaring off the addition was to add brick to one side.

In the initial design when the addition was at an angle, the brick wasn?t needed because it would be tipped, but once rotated, it could be seen driving down the street.

Consequently, another fundraising drive was needed to pay for the brick work.

Outcome achieved

?From day one,? Neufeld said, the whole intent was to add a facility that when people drove by they didn?t have a clue that it wasn?t part of the original building.?

Marler said, with an affirming nod, ?and they accomplished that, too.?

The only thing missing was a parking lot because there wasn?t enough money to put toward that, Neufeld added.

Another advantage with the new addition, he said, was creating space independent of the regular library hours.

The addition can be closed off from the regular part of the library for after-hour events.

Neufeld said no windows were built along the two walls so that if the library ever needed to move books or racks in there, eventually they could do it without taking away from the middle of the room, which is where they needed the meeting space.

?We were thinking ahead to the future so if needed the room for books, we would have it,? Marler said. ?We tried to plan ahead.?

Neufeld said they also thought 30-feet by 40-feet was about the optimal square footage without going overboard on cost.

?We kept it small enough so it was effective to build,? he said. ?Any bigger, then the costs would go up because now the trusses would have to get bigger, spanning much more area.?

In addition to Hett, Neufeld and King, Holub thanked Harvey Sanders for the electric work, Gerald Boese for carpentry and finishing, Flamings for HVAC, County Seat for carpet and floor tile and Marler?s husband, Doug, for doing the minute details that needed to be done.

Marler said: ?I am glad the project is over and the addition ready. I can?t wait to start using it with our first program Jim Gray and, ?A Bullwhacker?s Life Freighting Supplies Over the Plains.?

The program will be from 7 p.m. Feb. 26 in the newly named ?Santa Fe Room.? For more information about programs or the addition, call Marler at 620-382-2442.

Written By
More from Patty Decker
USPS prepares for year?s busiest day
The U.S. Postal Service wants to see those cards, letters and packages...
Read More