New Marion Library nears much anticipated opening after multiple delays

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 4:00 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Anticipation continues to build for the opening of the new public library in Marion. That community has been without a permanent library since the derecho, now more than two years ago. The original building was severely damaged in the storm and around 20% of the library collection was lost. Now a brand new library has been built next door, and it’s double the size of the old one.

“I’m looking forward, come on open the thing,” said Mike Hauk of Marion.

Hauk goes to the Marion Library every Wednesday. For the last two years that’s meant going to a temporary space while the new library was being built.

“Our tentative opening was supposed to be in April 2022,” explained Bill Carol, Library Director at Marion Public Library.

Now five months later the opening of the new facility has been pushed back more than once.

“I’ve been counting down but it keeps changing dates on me,” said Hauk.

The building had some construction delays related to pandemic shortages of both labor and supplies. Most recently, four main items were pinpointed as keeping the library from opening.

Guards needed to be installed to cover the piping under bathroom sinks, railings needed to be installed and modified. Specifically a main railing inside had been installed too close to a wall where a hand couldn’t get around it, that’s been extended out. Now there’s just one more thing to cross off the list.

“Three of those items have been remedied and we’re just waiting on the installation and programming of our access and security system,” said Carol.

The new facility is almost ready to open it’s doors to the public, offering an incredible space for kids complete with a slide and giant lite-brite. There is also a kitchen for cooking classes, an outdoor area, space to sew or 3D print, a self serve coffee bar, and more.

“There’s a lot of things to look forward to when we do open the front doors,” Carol said.

While an opening date hasn’t been set, the library plans to open its doors on or before November the 15th.