Mackenzie Hall, 11, of Wauseon, foreground, and Taylor Posey, 11, and his sister, Elisabeth, 7, of Delta, check out the children's offerings at the Wauseon Public Library.
WAUSEON - A children's room in bright primary colors with curving bookcases and murals on the walls is planned for the basement of the Wauseon Public Library in 2007, using the library's gift from the city's late philanthropist, Dorothy Biddle.
Bids for the project, which are expected to be considered at the Jan. 9 library board meeting, came in under estimate.
The seven bids opened last week ranged from just under $93,500 to $114,700, with all but the highest bid falling under the estimate of $112,000.
Mrs. Biddle, who died almost two years ago at 106 and left most of her more than $2.4 million estate to charity, provided almost $54,000 for the library where she had borrowed books and attended events. Her gift has helped boost the library's building fund to almost $565,000.
Putting the children's room in what has been a basement storage area will more than double the library's space for youngsters from preschool to sixth grade. The new children's room is to have 1,650 square feet.
Plans call for a new 1,650-square-foot children's room in the basement of the library.
There will be 560 feet of shelving - enough to hold 16,000 books - and it is to be serpentine in shape, not the typical straight library stacks, in an effort to encourage children to wander through. The shelves are to be painted in bright yellows, reds, and blues.
"It will just be a bright, cheery space," said Jeff Buehrer, senior designer with Vetter Design Group Inc. in Toledo's Old West End.
The library board is mulling whether to ask local artists or students to paint murals on the walls, although neither a theme nor specific plans for art have been made.
There are to be three computers for children to use, two reading nooks, and a platform with three steps that can seat up to a dozen children listening to a story being read to them.
Mr. Buehrer plans to use a column supporting the second floor as a centerpiece for a circular seat that can accommodate about six children. Although the seat will be contemporary in design, it will resemble a seat that was in a Carnegie library in Cleveland.
"I thought it would be neat to bring something from the original Carnegie libraries into this space," Mr. Buehrer said. "Mix the old with the new."
The Wauseon library, which was built with funds from industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, opened in 1906 and was expanded in 1986.
Library leaders had talked in recent years about constructing a new building; the current library is boxed in on all sides with no room for expansion. But the idea of moving has been set aside, said Maricela DeLeon, assistant library director.
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