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Cuba Circulating Library begins renovation of children’s and teen area

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The Cuba Circulating Library children’s area.

CUBA — The Cuba Circulating Library will begin renovation of the children’s and teen wing of the library over the upcoming months. This renovation will create a unique destination for children of all ages to enjoy reading, playing, studying and spending time with their parents and caregivers.

Library Director Tina Dalton says, “The new design will have more open spaces for playing and learning, as well as better accessibility for all patrons.”

“Plans for this project have been part of the library’s long-range plan for the last four years,” states Dalton. In 2019, the library surveyed community members to learn what services people were seeking from the library. “One theme kept coming up over and over again. People want a place to go with their children — a warm, welcoming space where they can play, read, and spend time together.”

The results of this survey sparked the plan to renovate the library’s children’s area. Last July, the library applied for a New York State Construction Aid grant, seeking funding assistance with this project. The project was approved, and the library anticipates receiving a $125,000 grant to help fund this project. The remainder of the funds will come from a variety of sources such as additional grants, donations through Friends of the Cuba Library, the library’s endowment fund, and memorial donations to the library. No local tax dollars will be used to fund this project.

The renovation will be completed in two phases, with phase one starting towards the end of this month. In phase one, the teen section will be updated to include a new seating area and video gaming center. The children’s area will have wall nooks and stages added, to encourage play and reading. The lighting will be updated, and the water fountain will be replaced with a water bottle filling station. Phase two, which begins in 2024, will include the replacement of all carpet in the main library, the addition of a wall to further delineate the children’s area, and a large interactive tree sculpture. The library will commission a local artist to design and build the tree.

“We will have to get creative during this time to keep providing the same level of service to the community,” says Dalton. During the renovation, a temporary children’s and teen space will be set up in the library’s community room. Although the library will remain open during most of the construction, they will partner with area organizations to hold some of their programs offsite. Some library programs will take place on the main floor of the library or in the preschool story time room.

“We appreciate the Palmer Opera House and Cuba Baptist Church for allowing us to hold programs at their facilities,” said Dalton.

The redesign of the space was completed by Edge Architecture out of Rochester. Edge also designed the teen space in the Rochester Central Public Library. The contract for the construction work has been awarded to Kinley Corp.

If you wish to donate to this project, donations can be sent to the Cuba Circulating Library at 39 E. Main St, Cuba, NY 14727.