Kingston Frontenac Public Library’s central location is set to reopen on March 23 after two and a half years of renovations.
The makeover began in November 2016 and was scheduled to be completed during the summer of 2018, but the renovation suffered damages after a severe rainstorm hit Kingston in August causing flooding around the job site.
“The water found every leak it could to get into the building,” said Rob Crothers, project manager for the library renovation. “We had one communications conduit going through the wall that was under water and the water was poring in like a fire hose.”
Months after the summer flooding, the staff got back to work and cleaned up the mess with a new grand re-opening date of early 2019.
WATCH: Central branch of Kingston Public Library set to open in March
The original building was built in the mid-19th-century and was expanded in the 1970s. The renovation will give the building a 21st-century redesign, said Laura Carter, director of branch experience for KFPL.
“Looking at the skills needed for the 21st-century economy, you need to be able to code and you need to be able to problem solve,” Carter said. “There is a big creative aspect, too.”
The budget for the renovation was nearly $14 million, and according to Carter, the library met its goal.
“We’re definitely not over. We may be a little later than we planned to be but we have been very careful with the control of the budget,” Carter said.
On Saturday, library staff will host hourly story times, a green-screen photo booth, an interactive photo diorama, special edition library cards, musical performances by students of the Kingston Suzuki Music Association, guided tours, a local history drop-in session, face painting and a digital guestbook to sign.
The doors will open to the public at 11 a.m.
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