We are thrilled to report that despite being closed for 11 weeks, Beloit Public Library has continued to move forward with construction and expansion plans. We are now six weeks into the buildout, and the space is taking great shape!
Construction began May 4 to transform 8,500 square feet of mostly unfinished warehouse into new spaces that will provide the community with additional opportunities for learning, meeting, enriching, inspiring, and exploring.
Headlining the project for the library are a brand new children’s program room and a caregiver room. Furnished with a comfortable chair, sink, and some books and toys, the caregiver room will provide a private space for nursing moms or for caregivers who may need a place for their child to calm down from a tantrum or take a quiet break.
Our partnership with Blackhawk Technical College (BTC) helped to make this entire project possible. They are investing nearly $340,000 to have a larger presence in Beloit with the creation of two large classrooms, a GED testing center, and office space all within Beloit Public Library. The library was able to piggy-back on their project to create additional library spaces for the community through private fundraising.
One organization that will benefit from the expansion is Stateline Literacy Council (SLC). Having operated out of the library’s unfinished warehouse space for the past several years, SLC will soon have the use of two new classrooms, as well as a new office. Their program is growing, and BPL is pleased to provide a location for an organization that has such a positive impact our community and whose mission fits hand-in-hand with that of our own.
When not in use by BTC or SLC, the four new classrooms will be available for the library and community to use for programs, meetings, and other events. This is a great asset for a community that has a high need for meeting spaces.
FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) also will have office space to continue to serve its Beloit clients at BPL.
This project and all of the partnerships behind it provide testimony as to what can happen when groups and individuals work together toward common goals. Our goals are similar, and our patrons/clients/students can benefit from the services we offer — whether it’s helping someone to learn to speak a new language, find a job, or further their knowledge/education.
At a glance, Beloit Public Library’s buildout project includes:
• Children’s Program Room
• Caregivers Room with sink
• Two ESL Classrooms
• GED Testing Center
• Large Study Room to accommodate 4-6 people
• Two BTC Classrooms
• Two collaboration/open seating areas
• Office space for Stateline Literacy Council
• Office space for Blackhawk Technical College
• Office space for FoodShare Employment and Training
Once the current buildout is complete, BPL hopes to move into fundraising for the next phase, which will include:
• Interactive Early Literacy Area
• Toddler Play Area
Donations toward this project are welcome. Tax-deductible contributions can be made in any amount via our website at: https://beloitlibrary.org/be-involved/donate/.
To learn more about the BPL construction project, read the May 31 article in the Beloit Daily News: https://www.beloitdailynews.com/news/local-news/work-on-beloit-library-expansion-moving-forward/article_136e74e9-fa5a-53b1-96b2-c02e64b2c2cb.html.