PARSONS, Kans. — The Parsons Public Library has received thousands of dollars to upgrade its building. The City of Parsons and Parsons Library Director Samantha Graven partnered together to apply for funding through the Community Development Grant Program.

“It was just something that we have we were familiar with. We have a professional grant writer on staff, she was able to help out Samantha they wrote this grant together. You know, to see funding funneled down and this is where the rubber meets the road. So we’re just really happy to see it happen here to the city of Parsons,” said Jim Zaleski, Parsons Economic Development Director.

They were awarded nearly $240,000 to repair and upgrade the library’s windows and roof. The unique design of the windows has become hazardous due to molding, and leakage.

“When the library was built in 1977, it was designed with two sloping windows, one on the east side and one on the south side. Over time with the deterioration of the windows, it’s become apparent that they need to be replaced,” said Graven.

“City’s technically owner of the building. All the kudos in this instance goes to Samantha and her board for seeing a need and then kind of came to the city. How can we do this? The CDBG program is a federal program administered through the State Department of Commerce,” said Zaleski.

Officials say the plan is for the library to remain open during the construction.

“Windows will come from a slope to a vertical. We’ll extend the roof. And so that will help with roof-age leakage that we have. Also the leakage within the windows themselves because the seals have been broke and the frame is starting to deteriorate and slide,” said Graven.

All the work is estimated to cost around $475,000. The Library Endowment Fund will cover 40% with the City of Parsons covering the last 10%.

“Part of the grant required us to have community support and the library was fortunate enough to receive over 50 support letters for this project. Showing how vital to the community that the library is,” said Graven.

“If we can help them get over the finish line, the library is such a cornerstone to the community. For the city to invest that little amount of money match it against hundreds of thousands of dollars just makes sense for something as important in the city as the library,” added Zaleski.

The current estimated completion date is October 2024.