FLINT, MI — After more than two-thirds of Flint voters said yes to funding a Flint Public Library renovation, three local foundations announced financial support for the upcoming project. The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Ruth Mott Foundation and Community Foundation of Greater Flint together are committing more than $16 million to the project, set to begin in May 2020.
The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which made an initial grant of $1.2 million in August, now will grant an additional $13.8 million. The Ruth Mott Foundation will grant $1 million, and the Community Foundation of Greater Flint will grant $50,000.
“The Flint Public Library is a place to learn for life,” said Kay Schwartz, director. “The complete renovation of the facility and upgraded technology that will be made possible with generous support from Flint residents, local foundations and individual donors will strengthen that mission.”
On Nov. 5, 68 percent of Flint voters said yes to a $12.6 million bond that will help to fund renovations. Significant changes will include:
- doubling the children’s learning space;
- doubling the digital learning space and adding three high-tech classrooms;
- adding 66 percent more space for local history and genealogy;
- adding six study rooms, nine meeting rooms and four classrooms;
- making an additional 16,000 square feet available to the public through reconfiguration of existing space; and
- making the building more accessible for people with disabilities.
“Flint voters made it clear that they want a strong public library that meets their needs now and in the future,” said Ridgway White, president and CEO of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. “We’re pleased to help support a library where residents of all ages will want to learn, gather and grow.”
“The Flint Public Library is a unique civic space for honest and open community conversations,” said Raquel Thueme, president of the Ruth Mott Foundation. “We’re proud to help strengthen that role into the future and support the library as a core community hub providing inclusive services and digital access for all.”
“We envision a community where literacy for life is a priority,” said Isaiah M. Oliver, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. “Our foundation’s investment puts another stake in the ground for our literacy work.”
The Library will move to a temporary location during construction. It’s slated to reopen at 1026 East Kearsley Street by August 2021.
Learn more about the project timeline and renovation plans at yournewFPL.org.
Flint Public Library has served this community since 1851 and welcomes more than 500 visitors every day. Our vision is to be Flint’s go-to place to learn for life. We encourage formal and informal learning for all ages, in all mediums, for all of life. Learn more at www.fpl.info.
The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, established in 1926 in Flint, Michigan, by an automotive pioneer, is a private philanthropy committed to supporting projects that promote a just, equitable and sustainable society. Grantmaking is focused in four programs: Civil Society, Education, Environment and Flint Area. For more information, visit www.mott.org.
The Ruth Mott Foundation was established in Flint, Michigan, by Ruth Rawlings Mott, philanthropist and wife of automotive pioneer Charles Stewart Mott. The Foundation’s mission is to stimulate and support community vitality through its focus on four priorities for north Flint: Youth, Public Safety, Economic Opportunity and Neighborhoods. For more information: www.RuthMottFoundation.org.
The Community Foundation of Greater Flint partners and leads by influencing and connecting generosity to Genesee County needs. CFGF helps donors support the causes they care about, today or through their estates. CFGF serves Flint and all of Genesee County including its community funds in Clio, Davison, Fenton, Flushing and Grand Blanc. Its supporting organization, the Foundation for Flint, stewards the Flint Kids Fund in response to the Flint Water Crisis
It seems unconscionable to me, that anyone would be so cavalier to spend 16 million dollars on a library for a town where the residents are being poisoned in an insidious manner that ensures their use of a library limited at best.
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