Two critical steps completed to move the project forward
It has been just over a year since the State of Minnesota announced $1.4 million in available funding for the Minnesota Department of Education State Library Construction Grant program, and five months since the City of Kimball was awarded a $440,000 state grant. After a long winter and with a much-anticipated summer approaching, the new Kimball Public Library building is two steps closer to its groundbreaking.
Tuesday, May 14, the State of Minnesota approved and signed the City of Kimball’s End Grant Agreement with the state for the building project. The grant agreement involved many requirements for the state-funded portion of this project, including a city resolution, non-state funding documentation, B3 Guidelines registration, legislative notification and more.
Next, members of the Kimball Library Building Committee met earlier in May with representatives of Rice Companies, Bentz, Thompson Rietow (BTR), and Westwood Professional Services to kick off the building planning process. This critical kick-off meeting, facilitated by Rice Companies in consultation with BTR and Westwood, walked the committee through the State of Minnesota B3 Guidelines. The B3 Guidelines are applied to the design of new buildings or renovations to meet sustainability goals for site, water, energy, indoor environment, materials and waste. The guidelines are required on all projects that receive general obligation bond funding from the State of Minnesota. BTR and Westwood are providing their expertise on the B3 Guidelines in the building planning phase.
To learn, understand and facilitate the End Grant Agreement and the B3 Guidelines, the Kimball Library Building Committee, made up of representatives from the City of Kimball, Great River Regional Library, the Kimball Area Friends of the Library, and area business leaders, met nearly every two weeks since the end of January to find a path forward for the building project. This included meetings with the city attorney, researching B3 Guidelines resources, gathering and submitting the required paperwork for the End Grant Agreement, and waiting for the state’s review and final signature.
The B3 Guidelines process has launched and is informing the final building plans. The Kimball Library Building Committee will then review the final building plans. After the full set of building plans are approved, the City of Kimball will conduct a public request for proposals by July 1.
At the same time, the Kimball Library Building Committee will study the budget to determine how to reduce the project costs or raise additional funds to cover increased costs related to B3 Guidelines and a prevailing wage construction project and the State of Minnesota’s grant shortfall of $121,090. (The goal of the committee is to keep the integrity of the original building plan throughout this process.) The city-appointed building committee is restricted from raising funds and will look to community groups for fundraising assistance. Without reservation, the project volunteers remain extremely confident that they can raise the additional funds, if necessary, as nearly all of the project costs were raised in one three-month phase of active fundraising. To emphasize this point further, since the City of Kimball submitted its state grant application in late October, 100 percent of the pledges were collected in a six-week period with some donors giving more than their pledge amount. Additional gifts of more than $1,250 have come in without solicitation. (If you would like to learn more about how to support the project, visit www.kimball-library.org and click on “Donate”.)
Having successfully raised the local matching funds from a supportive and enthusiastic community in a short period of time, the most difficult work for the volunteers became navigating through the local and state requirements for this once-in-a-lifetime, community and state-funded project. Thanks to the dedicated volunteers, city leadership, and Rice Companies, breaking ground for a new library at the corner of Spruce and Elm is projected for late summer with a move-in date targeted by the end of 2019.
You are encouraged to drive by the building site soon to be marked with a new “Coming Soon” sign, and watch the project in progress over the next several months. Now that the state paperwork is complete, you can expect more building project updates at
www.kimball-library.org. For more information or to be added to the Kimball Library Progress Report email list, contact email@example.com.