Friends of the Valley of the Tetons Library is pleased to announce the launch of their next project: the remodel of the Victor branch basement. The project began over the weekend of January 15-17, with volunteers boxing up all items currently stored in the basement and moving them into a rented storage facility onsite to prepare for demolition.
“Due to such generous participation from volunteers this weekend, the basement is almost empty!” said Laura Curtis, Friends President. “We are on track to begin demolition on Saturday, January 22, with the removal of shelving, carpeting and some walls.”
While the remodel project will not require a full demolition, the removal of a few walls will allow for a more open design. By incorporating a simple redesign of the basement, creating one big open public space, the usable area will increase by 40%, to approximately 650 sq ft.
Progress has moved along so quickly that as of Monday, January 31, demolition was complete and volunteers from Church of the Tetons had finished framing the new walls.
“Ultimately, the project will fulfill the library’s goal of providing a safe, inviting, and flexible space for meetings, individual work, programs, and a place where the community can gather and relax,” said Curtis.
Library Director Chris Johnson, library staff and the Friends worked together on the space’s plan. The primary objectives in redesigning the Victor branch basement are to create a lounge/gathering space; to increase space for programs; to provide semi-private workspace and meeting space; and to increase visibility for the Dog-Eared Den used books display area.
By installing temporary room dividers and privacy dividers, several flexible spaces will be created, including two small meeting spaces, two workspaces with desks, a new Dog Eared Den display area, and a multi-functional lounge/gathering space equipped with a TV and gaming console that can be used for Story Time, Book Club meetings and an after-school, teen hangout. Portable furnishings that can be easily moved will eventually allow for larger programs such as poetry readings, travel presentations, and public meetings – COVID safety policy permitting.
In addition to the space’s redesign, staff are looking forward to some much-needed improvements to the basement, including upgraded electrical and lighting, an enlarged and updated restroom, new carpeting and furnishings, and private office space and storage space for library staff.
Curtis shared that the Friends are receiving an incredible amount of community support and partnerships for the project. Just this month, the Teton Springs Foundation awarded the Friends a $2,500 grant, which will be used toward acquiring the new furnishings for the basement. And the Teton Arts Council will be creating a new mural on the walls leading down the basement stairs.
If all goes as scheduled, Curtis said the project should be completed by the end of March.
“The library is thrilled to give our basement space new life and provide a safe and bright place for the many programs we provide to the community,” said Library Programs Specialist Rasheil Stanger. “The Friends are making this dream come true. I can’t wait to show it off!”
*Check out the Friends News Page HERE for an update on the remodel progress next month!