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Library History page 3

In the mid 1990s the library in the old high school auditorium began to show its age.

As Kalona grew, so did the demand for more materials and computers, which created a very cramped space.  The steps at the entrance made it impossible for some people to use the library making it hard to hold programs that could include everyone in Kalona.

With a grant from the State Library of Iowa, the library board of trustees hired a library consultant named George Lawson.  George examined the library, community, and surrounding area and with help from the community outlined a plan for a library that would accommodate Kalona for the next 20 years.  That “Building Program Document” was finished in February 1999 and was the start of a plan for a new library in Kalona.

About this time a group of Kalona citizens started the Kalona Library Foundation for the purpose of fundraising and supporting a new library.  With the Rev. Scott Stapleton as president, the group started an annual evening of dinner and entertainment as a fundraiser.  The best donation came from Mrs. Velma Skola in the form of the deed to the Kalona Post Office.  The post office was eventually sold and the money was used to hire an architect to get the building process started.

The architectural firm of Engberg-Anderson Design Partnership was hired to design the library.  On November 4, 2003 Kalona passed a 1.4 million-bond issue for a new library.  It passed by 81%.

Work began on the new building during the summer of 2004.  On March 19, 2005, over 200 volunteers turned out to help move the library and on March 28, 2005, the new library opened for business.

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