The funds will be used to make interior enhancements and infrastructure improvements to the 57-year-old building, including a patron self-check-out system, an energy-efficient heating and cooling system, new carpeting and furniture, and handicapped-accessible restrooms. The remodeled interior design will reflect the original colors introduced by architect Alden B. Dow, son of Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow, when the structure was built in 1954. The project is scheduled to begin in early 2013 and continue in phases.
Since 1938, the foundation has awarded $9.1 million for special projects and building additions at the library. The latest grant also commemorates the seventh-fifth anniversary of the foundation — which was established in 1936 by Grace A. Dow in memory of her husband, who founded the Dow Chemical Company — and reaffirms its commitment to maintaining a vibrant public library built on the site of the Dows' apple orchard.
"Words cannot express my appreciation for the generosity of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation," said library director Melissa Barnard. "This gift will enable us to move forward to meet the ever-changing needs of our community."