Our current facility was constructed in 1956 and has had additions built at two different times, most recently in 1995. However, a third expansion is simply not a possibility. Quite simply, we are land locked.
At 12,000 square feet, our current facility struggles to meet the current demand. Hundreds of people enter our doors each day and this year, we ended with over 150,000 check outs. We are a major source of education and recreation, and we long to be able to provide even more.
Making the Move
The Fifth Third Bank Building was purchased by the City of Effingham and given to the Helen Matthes Library as its new building. It is a wonderful facility, ideally located in the downtown area. This renovation will modernize the facility, bringing it into its new life as a 27,000 square foot library for Effingham.
The facility will feature a mixture of traditional and new services that will allow the library to stay relevant to Effingham for a long time. Features include:
- 150 seat meeting room
- Computer training lab
- Dedicated space for teens
- Movable spaces to adapt to evolving needs
- Quiet study rooms for tutoring sessions
The total renovation cost is estimated at $3.5 million. The library has $500,000 in a restricted building fund. This money had been raised years ago to purchase land for a new library. Also, our current facility was appraised at nearly $700,000! The money from the sale of the building will be used for the renovations of the new facility. We are also seeking federal, state, and private grants totaling $300,000. Therefore, we will need to raise approximately $2,000,000 to renovate the Fifth Third Bank Building as our new library.
We’ve prepared a short video that takes you on a walking tour of the library. We also have a page of common questions about the new facility as well. If you would like to make a donation, you can do so online or you can use our pledge form. If you have any questions, please contact Amanda McKay at 217-342-2464.