District library accepting bids to renovate Skidway VFW building
SKIDWAY LAKE — The Ogemaw District Library is accepting contractor bids until Sept. 14 to renovate the former Skidway Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars post into the new Skidway Lake Library.
District Library Director Jeanette Leathorn said the renovation will be paid for with funds from the United States Department of Agriculture.
“We received that USDA grant several years ago to renovate our Skidway Lake Library,” she said. “We rewrote the grant to purchase the old VFW Hall in Skidway Lake and we’re going to renovate it.”
Leathorn said the grant was for $150,000, and the district had to come up with a $50,000 match. For the matching funds, the district library was able to get a loan from the USDA to be paid back in 15-20 years, she said.
Renovating the VFW Hall has many benefits, Leathorn said. She said it has more space than the current library — both inside and outside the building.
“It’s a better location,” she said. “It’s got a bigger parking lot. It’s right at a school bus stop.”
There is also a bigger yard adjacent to the building, Leathorn said. This can be used for outdoor programs, she said. With more space inside, Leathorn said the library can host its own programs, rather than using rooms at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church.
Originally, the grant was going to be used to add a children’s room to the old library. Leathorn said the new building has space for one.
The winning contractor will have work to do on the interior and exterior, according to Leathorn.
“There’s going to have to be air conditioning and heating,” she said. “There’s a lot of peg boards, so it’s going to need drywall.”
Although exterior work is needed, the former VFW Hall is in better shape than the current library, Leathorn added.
“It’s a younger building,” she said. “It’s had some maintenance. We’re going to have to put on new siding and a new roof, but overall it’s in better shape than our old building.”
Shelves and other items in the library that are in decent shape will be reused, Leathorn said.
“We’re going to recycle as much as possible,” she said.
Inmates on the Sheriff’s Work Crew will likely be used to transfer the items from one building to the other. Leathorn said the library will likely be closed for one week during the transition.
Currently, there is no timeline for the renovation to be completed. Leathorn said the bids will be opened Sept. 14 at 2 p.m.
“Once that happens, the board will meet and we can award a contract,” she said. “Hopefully, by the end of September, we can start having work done in there.”