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New Library Planning, Fundraising, & Construction - 2017-2020

Crete Public Library opened a new facility at 1515 Forest Ave. in January 2020.

The new Crete Public Library and Community Room project started in 2016 with funding considerations and moved forward with community input meetings and design and engineering work until the bid was awarded and a groundbreaking was held in September 2018. The new building opened to the public on Jan. 31, 2020. (View construction and finish photo galleries.)

Fundraising Updates:

Update July 15, 2019: Project funded: The new Crete Public Library is now fully funded. The $7.4 million building has been funded by $4.2 million from the 2016 bond issue, $2 million from grants, almost $500,000 from individual donors, $250,000 from the Friends of the Crete Public Library and $150,000 from local corporations.

Grants and donations toward specific spaces/items:

  • Community room, Acklie Family Foundation (Crete Carrier Corp.), $150,000
  • Childrens room, Friends of Crete Public Library, $200,000
  • MakerSpace, Windstream, $50,000
  • Teen Room, Friends of Crete Public Library, $50,000
  • Outdoor Pavilion, Pinnacle Bank - Crete, $50,000
  • Meeting room, UBT, $20,000
  • Fireplace, Jim and Sharon Crouse, $15,000
  • Large study room, Nestle Purina, $15,000
  • Family Seating Area, Tom and Patty King, $10,000
  • Nebraska Seating Area, Bernice Černý Jeffries, $10,000
  • Adult reading Room – Periodicals Area, Dennis and Jody Isernhagen, $10,000
  • Outdoor benches - library, Mack Sack, Susan Weber, $5,000 each
  • Outdoor benches - park, Bunge, City Bank & Trust, Ann Kelsall, Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church, $5,000 each

Additional grants:

  • Sherwood Foundation, $500,000
  • Robert B. Daugherty Foundation, $500,000
  • Peter Kiewit Foundation, $350,000
  • Sunderland Foundation, $100,000
  • Abel Foundation, $20,000

Update Sept. 21, 2018: Fundraising committee receives book spines: The fundraising committee has received three book spines that can be viewed in the library. These are made by an artist and recent Wesleyan graduate. Over 30 Crete individuals, families and organizations have donated towards the new library by selecting their spines with their accompanying dedications.

Update June 25, 2018: Fundraising update for new library/community room: Fundraising efforts on behalf of the new library/community room are continuing apace. Prior to June 2018, the project received an anonymous $88,000 donation, as well as Union Bank and Trust (UBT) donating $20,000 towards the meeting room. Pinnacle Bank in Crete has donated $50,000 for the naming rights of the outdoor pavilion.

Windstream has been very generous with a $50,000 donation to have the name on the new technology room/MakerSpace. Jim and Sharon Crouse liked the idea of a fireplace in the new library so much, they decided to put their name on it with a contribution of $15,000. Support also comes from within the local community with a $5,000 donation from Bunge for the naming rights for an outdoor bench and Ann Kelsall and Mac Sack also donated $5,000 for the naming rights for a bench.

In addition to supporting the new library/community room, donors may be eligible to receive a Nebraska state tax credit. Donations over $10,000 will receive a 20% Nebraska state tax credit and donations from $5,000-$9,999 will receive a 10% Nebraska state tax credit.

A recent graduate with a fine arts degree from Wesleyan will be making the ceramic book spines. Over 25 donations for book spines have been received to date. These are available in three different sizes – 6” ($250), 8” ($500) and 10” ($1,000) inches and can be in the donor’s name or another dedication. Book spine donations can be made over a three-year period. If you are interested in making a donation to this important community enhancement, please contact the library or email: cpl.newlibrary@gmail.com.

Update November, 15, 2017: Sunderland Foundation awards $100,000 to Crete Library project: Many thanks to the Sunderland Foundation for awarding $100,000 for the Crete Library/Civic Center construction. These funds, along with the community's approved sales tax funds and other grants and donations will allow the City to build the best library possible. 

Update October, 10, 2017: Sherwood Foundation awards $500,000 to Crete Library project: The first week in October, the City of Crete was awarded $500,000 from the Sherwood Foundation towards construction costs of the new library. A big thank you to Sherwood for valuing, supporting, and celebrating rural communities in Nebraska.

Update July, 6, 2017: Library and Civic Center project - grant award: The recent grant application to the Nebraska Department of Economic Development for Community Facilities funds was awarded. This grant provides us $375,000 in funding for construction. Building a new community library is a once-in-a-lifetime project, which makes it so exciting. The current library was finished in 1915 and has served well for over 100 years.

Project Updates:

Update: Spring & Summer 2020: Landscaping and other site work is being completed. View site photos.

Update: Jan. 31, 2020: Opening Day at the new Crete Public Library. Project and construction timelines. Read more...

Update: Jan. 11, 2020: Sixteen months after an official groundbreaking, Crete Public Library staff will close the old library on East 13th Street and start the move into a new library building at 1515 Forest Ave. The library will be closed during the two-week moving process before an opening at the new facility on Thursday, Jan. 30. 

Update: Jan. 9, 2020: The Library will be closing at its present location Saturday, Jan. 11. No fines will accrue during the closed time, and materials may be dropped in the drive-thru drop box at the new library, 1515 Firest Ave. The new library will open on Thursday, Jan. 30. Questions? Call 402-826-3809.

Update: Jan. 7, 2020: In a symbolic gesture to commemorate moving from the old library on East 13th Street to the new facility at 1515 Forest Ave., the community will participate in a Book Brigade on Monday, Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. Crete High School National Honor Society members, along with library patrons and community members will line the seven blocks separating the two buildings. Two books will be passed from hand to hand as the group continues together to the new library. The public is welcome to participate.

Update: Nov. 26, 2019: The last day for library services at the old library will be Saturday, Jan. 11. The old library will close for two weeks, starting on Monday, Jan. 13. The new library will open on Thursday, Jan. 30. All outstanding materials will be given a two week extension. Questions, please call 402-826-3809.

Update: Oct. 10, 2019: As the exterior of the building nears competition, most of the work will be hidden from view. The exception to this will be the competition of the exterior of the Crete Carrier Corporation Community Room. The glass and exterior doors will be finished next week, as well as the drywall. The parking lot and the drive-through pavement will also be completed in the near future.

Update: Aug. 8, 2019: Glass is to be installed and concrete for sidewalk construction and the children’s outdoor reading garden will be poured the week of Aug. 12. The retaining wall should also be completed by the end of that same week.

Update: July 11, 2019: Recent construction highlights include: interior framing is ongoing; brick is being laid on the north and west exterior walls; the parking lot will be demolished soon and re-built; the roof is finished; the retaining wall and the glass to be put up in August.=

Update: April 11, 2019: The first layer of the roof has been placed throughout the building. Next, a layer of concrete will be poured on the Crete Carrier Community room. Once that room is waterproof, then the work on the floor can begin. The exterior framing will soon go up. The installation of the utilities will also be completed in the near future.

Update: March 26, 2019: In spite of the winter weather, the new library building is still on schedule. The Crete Carrier Community Room’s walls are complete. The next step will be the construction of the roof. On the library side, the steel roof beams are currently being placed. Next, the exterior walls will be erected and roof completed. For the interior, the furniture and fabrics have been selected and should go out to bid in April. In addition, in the current library we have placed on the walls in the “teen area” a progression of panorama photos and images of some of the furniture that has been selected.

Update: September 12, 2018: The City of Crete and Crete Public Library held a ground breaking ceremony for the new library on Wednesday morning at the site - 1515 Forest Ave. with the event also Live on the City's Facebook PageRead more...

Update: August 7, 2018: The Crete City Council accepted the low bid of Sampson Construction at their regular meeting on Aug. 7, clearing another hurdle toward the new library and community building planned for the old hospital site. After bids were accepted on Aug. 3 at City Hall, Mayor Roger Foster met with the City Administrator, Finance Director, and Clerk (grant writer) to review the numbers and seek recommendations on how to proceed. Sampson’s bid of $5,559,000 was ahead of Hampton Enterprises at $5,670,800. Four additional bidders included Cheever Construction, Lacey Construction, Inc., Genesis Contracting, and NGC Group. Read more...

Update: May 16, 2018

Revised floor plan of the new library and community room/storm shelter.

Highlights of the new building include:

Common Areas

  • Community Room, seating for:
    • 159 people in chairs      
    •  80 people with round table
    • 60 people with rectangle tables
  • Catering kitchen in the community room
  • Café with vending machine and coffee
  • Drive up window for drop off and collection of new material
  • Donor walls
  • Fully ADA compliant
  • MakerSpace/Technology Room

Youth areas

  • Children’s Program Room
  • Teen Room
  • Teen study area for four people
  • Child’s restroom
  • Mother’s Room
  • Family seating
  • Children’s activity area

Adult areas

  • Quiet Adult Area with Fireplace
  • Study Rooms (two person and four-person)
  • Meeting Room
  • Comfortable, southern-exposure seating

Outdoor areas

  • Courtyard/Festival area
  • Children’s Reading Garden
  • Patio seating
  • Children’s outdoor activity area/playground

Update: January 10, 2018: Take a drive by the old hospital to see it coming down a bit more every day. The Crete design committee met with the architects (BVH) to review their initial draft floor plan. BVH will revise the floor plan and after another review will present their design to the Crete Community on 1 March at 6:00pm at the UCC church.

Update: October 13, 2017: Thank you to all who attended the 26 October Community Input meeting. We know that the architects, BVH are appreciative of the Crete community’s feedback to them regarding the new library / community rooms. Below is a partial listing of some of the wishes and suggestions the Crete community has for our new complex. Please note that while we wish to have all of these wonderful features and materials, many of these are dependent upon the amount of grant monies we receive as well as financial support from the community.

What is a traditional library?

  • Place to gain knowledge.
  • In the style of Carnegie.
  • Lots of wood.
  • Comfortable.

Library design suggestions

  • Open interior space
  • Lots of windows to exterior
  • Comfortable furnishings.
  • Attractive and inviting for people to gather.
  • Nooks or smaller spaces for more intimacy and privacy. Quiet
  • Fireplace
  • Separate areas for different groups – children, teens, study rooms

BVH will begin design and will present a final schematic design to the public at a similar public meeting sometime in mid-January 2018.