Interlochen Library Campaign Celebrates $1 Million Mark

January, 2015

INTERLOCHEN, MI – With less than a year under its belt, the Interlochen Public Library New Building Campaign has raised $1 million toward its $2.5 million goal. “Community interest in this project has been overwhelming,” said Interlochen Public Library Board of Trustees Chairperson Pat Thompson. More than 40 volunteers now help lead the effort, focusing on areas such as grants and community giving.

In January, the group hosted a community celebration to commemorate the $1 million milestone at Fellowship Hall, adjacent to the current library on Riley Rd.

Why a New Library?

The new library offers 21st century design features to accommodate the growing use of technology to access information. Interlochen Public Library’s information technology usage increased 47% from 2012 to 2013 with the addition of a wireless network. In the decade to come, Green Lake Township is projected to grow at a faster rate and attract younger people than other areas in Grand Traverse County. A member of the Traverse Area District Library (TADL) network, Interlochen Public Library is the only TADL library west of Traverse City. Typical usage is second only to the district’s main branch on Woodmere Ave. in Traverse City. The plans also include a community center. Interlochen Public Library’s patronage has grown significantly during the past decade.

Obsolete Building

Independent inspections estimated a minimum of $1.2 million in renovation and repair would be needed for the current thirty-year old building to meet growing demand. “Trying to retro-fit this building to meet the demands of 21st century library patrons would be throwing good money after bad,” said Thompson.

Smart Growth Opportunity

To increase visibility and tie-in with the Village of Interlochen’s development plan, the new building is slated for a site adjacent to the Green Lake Township offices off M-137. It is seen as the spark needed to develop a “town center” envisioned by Interlochen and Green Lake Township planners. “Our library really is the hub and heart of the community,” said director Renee Kelchak. “We’re looking forward to not only continuing, but enhancing that role.”