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Pine River Public Library modifies reading porch plans

The Pine River Public Library has updated plans for a reading porch with screened in windows. Submitted photo1 / 2
The Pine River Public Library has updated plans for a reading porch with screened in windows. Submitted photo2 / 2

The Pine River Public Library has made alterations to its proposed three-season reading porch that could allow the space to be used during mild winter weather.

The newer plans propose recessing part of the porch rather than having it stick out from the building entirely.

"It was originally a three-season reading porch," said library branch manager Muriel Erickson. "If we bring the windows in, it will be heated and we can add baseboard heat and use it in the wintertime if it isn't too cold."

Erickson said the addition began as a means of giving the library cat, Browser, an environment that is almost like being outdoors. The city doesn't allow cats to wander unattended. In addition, furniture in the area would make it a sunny, comfortable place for patrons to spend time. Teens and other groups who come to the library could use the space as a closed-off meeting area.

"We don't have a whole lot of seating area in the library, so this will be a nice reading area," Erickson said. "They can read their newspapers, magazines or study."

The plans are for a porch on the north end of the building. Erickson said the Pine River Library Building Foundation may consider another porch on the south end of the building if this project proves popular.

Funding for the porch has come from several fundraising activities, including an annual wine tasting event, Pie on Park Avenue, a Summerfest book sale and a food kiosk at the annual Lakes Bluegrass Festival. Loans could come into play.

Bids for the project used to be for approximately $18,000, but the library is seeking new bids that may be higher due to the addition of several windows.

"We'll have to see how it goes this summer," Erickson said. "If it goes well and we have close to the amount we need for whatever bid we decide to go with, I think we'll start in the fall. Otherwise it would be next spring or summer."

The library building foundation is weighing this project along with sidewalk and parking lot repairs.

Donations can be made to the Pine River Library Building Foundation, P.O. Box 14, Pine River, Minnesota 56474.