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Donations for library expansion closer to goal

by Mike Jones | December 5, 2022 at 4:53 a.m.
Reagan Caspermeyer, 7, of Bentonville carries a big stack of books July 29 at the Bentonville Public Library in Bentonville. Visit nwaonline.com for today's photo gallery. (File Photo/NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)

BENTONVILLE -- The Bentonville Library Foundation is closing in on monetary contributions needed to expand the library.

In May 2021, the Library Foundation agreed to raise $10.5 million for the expansion.

Several new investments have been made and will be acknowledged through naming opportunities in the expansion.

Recent donations bring the campaign total to $8.64 million. The private funding raised will join the city's $4.5 million toward the library's $16.75 million expansion project. Combined public and private funding comprise 79% of the amount needed, according to library officials.

Previous campaign announcements from the Library Foundation include a $5.5 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation.

"The library foundation is humbled by the community of generous donors who demonstrate their passion and dedication through their financial investment," said Teresa Stafford, foundation executive director.

A needs assessment from Minneapolis-based MSR Design originally proposed 65,055 square feet -- including the current 38,500 square feet -- for just under $15 million. The needs assessment was paid for by a $112,900 grant from the Walton Family Foundation.

Plans now call for a 22,975-square-foot addition to the library's 38,500 square feet.

The rising cost of construction material pushed the price tag higher, library Director Hadi Dudley and Kristilyn Vercruysse with MSR Design said. MSR Design produced alternate plans, Dudley said.

Dudley has said the foundation and city officials will work together to find ways to bring in the extra $1.75 million that cropped up since the expansion was first announced.

Library officials, MSR Design and Flintco are pricing the expansion.

The groups expect to share an update after the first of the year, Dudley said.

Print Headline: Donations for library expansion closer to goal

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