Pawnee City, Nebraska, Aug 19, 2011 -- USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul and staff joined the City of Pawnee City today for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the grand opening of the nearly $890,000 Pawnee City Public Library.
“I am very pleased to be here today to celebrate the official grand opening of the Pawnee City Public Library. Libraries are an intricate part of the core infrastructure of our rural communities and Rural Development is proud to be a partner in this great asset. This library is a resource that will help the residents of the community to meet their personal, educational and professional informational needs for years to come,” said Moul.
“The Library Foundation is grateful to its partners in helping fund our wonderful new library. A good library is a central part of a vital community and we are excited about the potential for Pawnee City,” said Vice President of the Pawnee City Library Foundation, Dorothy Willis.
The new library consisting of 6,500 square feet serves more than 1,000 rural residents. Amenities include adult/children reading areas, a modern circulation desk, a mechanical area and needed storage areas. Funding allowed the library to purchase new technological equipment such as computers and scanners, providing the community access to updated equipment plus internet. The library purchased all new shelving units, desks, chairs and tables to completely furnish the facility. A meeting room with a separate entryway from the library is available to the public for use after hours.
The existing Carnegie Library, built in 1907, was at full capacity with no room to expand for needed services. Also, the existing library lacked handicap accessibility, a research area, copying facilities and updated technology.
The Pawnee City Public Library Foundation utilized an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Rural Development loan of $160,000 and a $172,000 ARRA grant to assist in purchasing the land that is home to the new library. Funding also was used for associated construction costs, costs for plans and design, construction engineering, and legal fees. Leveraged funds of $203,000 from the Foundation and $350,000 in the form of a Community Development Block Grant completed the funding package.