PROSSER -- Mid-Columbia Libraries' Prosser branch will have a temporary home when its current building is renovated this fall.
The library district board approved a $2,195 monthly lease Tuesday for commercial space on Chardonnay Avenue in the northwest part of town. The interim library will open in mid-September and remain open until the end of February.
The temporary location will be half the size of the library branch building and won't offer community meeting space, library officials said. Some meeting space also will be removed from the current library building during the renovation.
Around $350,000 will be pumped into the project, which includes overhauling the space and bringing in new furniture, new books and other materials, making the branch a better resource for the community, library officials said.
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"It's overdue to be updated," Executive Director Kyle Cox said.
The 6,000-square-foot Prosser library opened in 1972 and hasn't had significant changes made to its interior since then, library officials said.
The project won't add space to library but includes the removal of walls and the suspended ceiling and installation of new flooring, lighting, bathroom fixtures and a new entryway.
The library district's two other recent renovation projects at the downtown Pasco and Eltopia branches didn't need to have temporary locations. Cox and library spokesman Davin Diaz said it comes down to a community's proximity to other branches.
"You can drive over the bridge and be at Keewaydin Park in five minutes (from Pasco)," Cox said. "Prosser is a 15-minute freeway drive to the closest branch."
New carpeting and fresh paint as well as a new layout will greet patrons when the branch reopens next year. The building's large meeting room will become part of the main library space and be used as a children's area. A computer lab that was formerly a small meeting room will be returned to that purpose.
The renovated branch also will have updated technology, including six additional computers and three areas dedicated to wireless devices such as tablet computers brought in by patrons.
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