Flint Public Library reopens after multi-million dollar renovation project
FLINT, MI — Those who visited the renovated Flint Public Library struggle to remember what it looked like after a 2019 bond proposal passed by Genesee County voters allowed for a complete overhaul of the building.
The new Flint Public Library opened Thursday, May 19 for self-guided tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday, May 20 for a soft opening when the library is full and all services are available.
After being closed for more than two years for the project following some delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the renovations costing more than $20 million are finally complete.
Related: Coronavirus delays renovation of Flint Public Library
The library, located at 1026 E. Kearsley St., is now better equipped to serve Flint County and Genesee residents after expanding from just three to 19 small and large meeting spaces, a dining room, kitchenette, community gathering spaces and classrooms.
This summer, the Flint Public Library will open a digital studio equipped with studio-grade microphones, a green screen, and a Mac with full Adobe Creative Suite.
Executive Director Kay Schwartz’s favorite aspect of the library’s new interior is the Gloria Coles Sky Salon, a 7-person meeting room that floats with four walls of glass above the learning staircase at the center of the building.
“You can see all around and people can see you. I think it will be a popular place,” Schwartz said.
The library is now outfitted with smaller stacks of books to provide sight lines to the glass windows that surround the building, a large learning space for children, a community room, a learning staircase, an internet cafe, a digital learning center and an expanded local history and genealogy space with room to grow. It also has casual outdoor gathering spaces.
The project added 16,000 square feet of public space by reorganizing ground floor use and opening up the layout, Schwartz said.
Flint voters approved a $12.6 million bond in November 2019 to fund the renovations, along with funds from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Ruth Mott Foundation and Community Foundation of Greater Flint.
Related: Flint Passes $12.6 Million Library Bond, Renovation Set to Begin in May 2020
If you’re a Michigan resident, you’re eligible for a library card at the Flint Public Library, Schwartz said. Residents are encouraged to bring photo ID when registering.
New members can choose from six new library cards, some of which feature local ties: Vehicle City Arches, Silver Car, Space Dinosaurs, Flint Public Library Mural, Caddy Fins and Scraps.
“Everyone who walks through that door is an owner,” Schwartz said. “… This library is a like-new building. He was stripped down to the beams. Every piece of wire and pipe above ground and below ground is brand new. »
The library has temporarily resumed operations at the Courtland Center in Burton while renovations took place from July 2020 to November 2021.
In the meantime, some of the library’s inventory was stored at General Motors, said Wanda Harden, community engagement and communications manager.
Regular business hours resume Saturday, May 21 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be an extravagant grand opening on the same day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A comprehensive May-August Flint Public Library programming guide is available on its website at https://www.fpl.info/.
Read more on The Flint Journal:
Kearsley schools are seeking candidates for a vacant school board seat
McLaren manager and chief medical officer remember ‘unparalleled leadership’
Michigan’s Best Local Dishes: Try Fusion-Style BBQ with a ‘Flavor Burst’ in Flint
Energy company seeks to bring $200 million solar farm to northern Genesee County