DICKEYVILLE—The Brickl Memorial Library in Dickeyville has expanded and an open house event will be held on Oct. 25 to celebrate the completion of the renovation project.
With space a big concern for both the library’s book collection as well as areas for children’s activities, in August 2014 the Dickeyville Village Board approved the expansion project that would double the size of the library. A meeting room adjoining the library had a wall removed to create a larger shelving and activity space for library patrons. The village board also approved building a closet to increase storage space for library staff. Both the meeting room and the library were 1,240 square feet, so removing the wall between the two rooms doubled the library’s space.
Besides adding more space, the renovation included a new, bigger reception area, more shelves and a lounge area with new furniture.
The additional shelves were purchased at an auction at Southwest Technical College for $1,800. Volunteers helped load a trailer and haul the shelves back to Dickeyville.
“We had a lot of volunteer help,” Tina Pfohl, library director, said. “It wouldn’t have gone as smoothly without them.”
Volunteers have been the backbone of the project. They assisted with painting, cleaning and organizing during the renovation. The library stayed open with full services available during the whole process.
“We couldn’t have asked for better cooperation,” Mary Lee Powell, village clerk/treasurer, said.
The volunteers also painted the hallway outside of the library. The village board agreed to purchase the paint if volunteers would do the work.
“One day we had seven volunteers painting from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” Powell said.
Pfohl said she was hoping to have the project wrapped up in the spring, but with all volunteer labor, it can only go so fast.
“I feel like we’ve exhausted our volunteers with this project, but they keep coming back,” Pfohl said. “The village board helped by picking up the hallway paint, purchasing new cabinet components and feeding the volunteers who painted. It wouldn’t have gone as smoothly without all of the help.”
New purchases included the tabletops, loveseat and chairs. The existing chairs were revamped with either new fabric or paint. Other items were repurposed such as a shelf transformed into a desk.
“We were able to sell items that were not repurposed,” Pfohl said. “I was as frugal as I could be with the budget.”
Pfohl said the library didn’t extend its hours or install any more computers. The services remain the same, just in a larger space. She is hoping to have more children programming in the future now that she has more space.
“It wouldn’t have happened without all of the sponsors and volunteers,” Pfohl said.
“It was everybody’s cooperation that made it happen,” Powell said.
Powell said the village board explored several options to provide more space for the library, including adding on to the building, dividing the adjoining meeting room to only use a portion of it for the library and using the entire adjoining meeting room.
“It took time because we had to abide by state regulations,” Powell said. “We didn’t have an engineer for the plan, but an engineer and inspector approved the project. We got lucky that the air conditioning was already zoned for both rooms.”
Pfohl said Emily Ballweg of Platteville, who has a degree in interior design, helped design the layout of the expanded library. She donated her time for the design and meetings she attended for the project.
The library board set a budget of $12,000 for the project. It came in under budget at approximately $9,300. The village contributed $2,600; the Friends of the Brickl Memorial Library donated $3,500; and $3,400 was received from private donations. Two grants were also secured: the Ann and Leo Stoll grant for $2,000 and an Alliant Energy grant for $3,000 specifically to expand the library’s book collection.
The Alliant Energy grant allowed the library to expand its collection with a $3,000 grant on top of the $2,400 the library is already mandated to spend each year. Pfohl said she purchased a variety of children’s and adult books.
Pfohl said the library doubled in size in less than 10 years.
The library held its grand opening ceremony nine years ago on Oct. 29, 2006. The library was a part of the larger project when the village of Dickeyville purchased the former Early Learning Center building, a pre-school/kindergarten facility that was part of the Cuba City School District. The school closed in May 2004 due to budget cuts and was purchased by the village in October 2004. The village conducted an extensive renovation project at that time. The building now houses the Dickeyville Police Department, village clerk’s office, Brickl Memorial Library and senior meal site. Major donations were received from the Department of Commerce, the Brickl family and the Dubuque Racing Association.
Powell said the Brickl family donated $50,000 to help the library have a healthy start. Mark and Dorothy Brickl wanted a library in Dickeyville, but Mark Brickl died before it became a reality. The Brickl family committed to matching donations of up to $15,000 a year for the first five years the library was open. Pfohl said the family contributions helped secure grant funding.
On Sunday, Oct. 25, the grand re-opening ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. followed by the re-dedication ceremony of the library and recognition of the people who made it happen. Following the ceremony, the library will be open during the annual Halloween event at the Dickeyville Community Center gymnasium from 1:30-3 p.m. Snacks and refreshments will be available.
Brickl Memorial Library is located at 500 East Ave. in Dickeyville.