Signature Montana Magazine Spring 2021

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Page 24 of 99

TEXT BY HEATHER BODE PHOTOGRAPHY BY HEIDA A LONG DECADENT DESIGN SiG MT 25 lbert Einstein is credited with saying, "e only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library." In Helena, the location of 120 S. Last Chance Gulch has remained constant since 1976. But take a step inside and prepare to do a double take because a renovation with a price tag of just under $6 million is redefining this library space. Even more astounding than the price tag is the fact that it has been done at no additional cost to local taxpayers. e library's director, John Finn, explains, "ere is a state library law in Montana that allows libraries to create a depreciation reserve fund. At the end of every fiscal year, any money we haven't spent can be put into this savings account. We have been very diligent about puing money into that fund and used all of our savings which was $4 million. We borrowed the other $2 million from the Montana Board of Investments through an INTERCAP loan. It is very low interest, and we hope to pay it off in five years." Reimagining the "Community Living Room" Lewis & Clark Public Library: A The teen space showcases the melding of old and new: Timber beams reminiscent of the previous design overlook a modern space filled with multiple interaction areas. Furniture here and throughout the library was provided by KI. The second floor reading room is filled with lounge furniture and natural light. A tech bar and new laptop check-out system allow patrons to work throughout the library.

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