Kanawha County public library renovation, expansion project gets $1.1 million donation

Charleston residents Bob and Nancy Douglas donate $1.1 million for the Kanawha County public library renovation and expansion project. (WCHS/WVAH)

The Kanawha County Public Library main downtown building renovation and expansion project received a big boost Thursday when it received a $1.1 million donation.

Charleston residents Bob and Nancy Douglas announced they will make the contribution to the Reimagine library campaign. On Nov. 14, library officials announced the library will be staying at its current site on Capitol Street and will undergo additions and renovations estimated to cost $27 million.

The couple said they hope their gift will encourage others in the community to donate to the campaign.

“Nancy’s mother was a librarian, so we understand the importance of a modern, accessible library in our community,” Bob Douglas said in a news release. “We are very excited to see this project come to a fruition, and we are glad that our donation will kick off the capstone campaign fundraising effort.”

Alan Engelbert, director of the library, said the donation puts the library a step closer to having a newly renovated and expanded facility.

Library officials previously said the project to renovate the Capitol Street building will break ground in the fall 2018 and the additions and renovations are expected to take 18 to 24 months. The renovations and additions include:

• Twenty-thousand new square feet, almost all of which will be public space, added to the west and south sides of the existing library building.

• A new main entrance at the corner of Summers and Quarrier streets.

• Large and small meeting rooms for library and public functions that can handle from two to 200 people.

• A light-filled, updated 10,000 square feet children’s department with space for story time, crafts and many other activities.

• A “maker” space that will allow patrons to imagine and create.

• A new proposed third floor walkway that will be connected to the Summers Street Parking Garage.

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