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Wichita Public Library Foundation Increases Central Library Funding Goal To $8M

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A fundraising goal for a new central library near downtown Wichita has increased to $8 million. As KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, the Wichita Public Library Foundation says they’re more than halfway there.

The City of Wichita initially wanted about $2.5 million in donations to build a brand new central library, which is planned for the intersection of 2nd Street and McLean Boulevard. But according to Don Barry, chair of the Wichita Public Library Foundation, a new, state-of-the-art library wasn’t hard to sell.

“If you think about how many generations of people that a new, modern library is going to affect, it’s an easy one to get on board with,” Barry says.

The foundation has already raised over $4 million, and Barry says the added funding will help bolster technology for the library and add a bit more room.

Back in January, city council members approved $27.5 million of taxpayer support for the new building. It will replace the current central library, which has stood on Main Street since 1967.

Construction for the new library could start as early as next spring and will take about two years.

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Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter @SeanSandefur.

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