Baldwin Library gets creative for upcoming fundraising efforts |
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Early next spring, a decades-long dream will come to fruition when the Baldwin Borough Public Library opens doors to a shiny new space all its own.

Its new home inside the former Leland Community Community will be far different from the leased space the library has operated from since the 1980s inside the Baldwin-Whitehall School District-owned Wallace Building.

There will be expanded mobile computer stations and flexible meeting spaces for library programs and outside organizations, said library board President Kelly Mossbauer. In all, the library’s space will expand by 2,100-square-feet.

While much of the minimum $2.1 million needed to renovate the Leland Center has been raised from a borough gift, two $500,000 grants and donations, contributions from the community of around $300,000 still are needed to make the vision a reality.

Library staff is planning plenty of fun ways to raise the money, Mossbauer said.

“We’re trying to do new and different things that might interest a wide variety of people,” she said.

After attending a fundraising cornhole tournament this summer, Mossbauer thought the fun, competitive atmosphere would make for a perfect way to bring people in Baldwin together.

Steel City Cornholes will provide the boards and bags and run a tournament for 64 people on Oct. 6, with a 10:30 a.m. check-in, at Elm Leaf Park. The double elimination tournament starts at 11 a.m.

For $50, a team of two can compete in the tournament. Lunch will be provided, and all participants must be 18 years or older.

The winning team, based on a 64-team bracket, will receive $400. The second-place team will get $200, and the third-place team will get $100.

Participants can bring their own snacks and beer, cans only.

More details and registration information can be found on the event’s Facebook post, under: “Cornhole Tournament hosted by Baldwin Borough Public Library.”

“This is something new and different that to my knowledge hasn’t been done before by a local organization,” Mossbauer said.

Other upcoming fundraisers include a “buy a brick” program, where donors can give $300 to have their name or organization spelled out on a brick at the new library.

While the library is renovating the Leland Center, it still has to keep running at its current location. Some fundraisers, including “A Tribute to Elvis,” will help pay for normal operating costs, Mossbauer said.

The event, including live music, dinner, beer and dessert, will be held Sept. 22, from 6 to 11 p.m. at Holy Apostles Parish in Baldwin Borough. Cost is $30 a person. There will be 50/50 raffles and, of course, an Elvis costume contest.

Right now, $2.1 million is needed for renovations at Leland Center. If the library can get to $2.6 million in total contributions and donations, it will be able to add a children’s addition and an extra 1,000 square feet to the building. The library also has a “stretch goal” of $3.1 million, to allow for new and expanded programming, the start of a small endowment, money to build its reserve fund and additional dollars for operating expenses as the library transitions to its new space, leaders said.

Staff also is applying for additional grants.

So far, the library received a donation from the borough of the building, which came in the form of a deed transfer for $1. Baldwin Borough also gave the library the $300,000 it had set aside for roof repairs needed at the shuttered former community center.

The library also received a $500,000 Keystone grant, and on Aug. 17, was awarded another $500,000 grant from the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.

The library broke ground on June 8 on renovations to Leland Center.

Public works crews from Baldwin Borough still will operate out of the lower floor of the building, to service the southern half of the community.

Library staffers are working to place a live construction feed inside the building so residents can get constant updates of the progress as the new library becomes a reality, Mossbauer said.

“Baldwin deserves this,” she said.

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Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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