WINONA, Minn. — Winona’s public library will be closed next week due to construction and Veterans Day.

The continued work on the new entrance will close the library Nov. 6-9, after which it will be closed for Veterans Day on Nov. 10 and 11.

The blue awning, part of the 1987 addition to the building, is being replaced with a permanent stone structure which more closely matches the architecture and materials of the building, and will improve drainage to channel rain away from the entrance.

Currently, during hard rain, the water funnels right into the library lobby.Late fees will be waived on items borrowed from the library that come due while the library is closed.

The drop box on the Fifth Street doors will be open, but is not handicap accessible due to the stairs.

Library director Lezlea Dahlke said that the project has so far not prevented them from keeping the library open, but workers have to tear up the sidewalk to install drainage — one of the key aspects of the improvements — which will make it temporarily impassable.

Dahlke said the city is still planning to be finished with the project around the end of November.“We are on schedule,” Dahlke said. “A lot is going to happen next week.”She said that so far both the library workers and the visitors have been very patient and willing to work around the construction, so it hadn’t been causing a lull in visitation.“We’ve all been trying to accommodate it and make it work” Dahlke said.In September the city approved a bid with Wapasha Construction Company for $184,902 to construct a stone replacement for the current blue awning.It is being paid for from $143,000 allocated in the 2017 budget, plus $40,000 from the Facilities fund. The remainder will be funded by the Friends of the Library board, with $60,000 from the Friends and Debora Miller Kanaber Library Fund.The improvements were originally estimated to be between $115,000 and $130,000, but came over in part due to the excavating costs being higher than expected.In addition to fixing the drainage and creating a permanent entrance, the plans also include a plaza area with seating for outdoor programming, like book clubs, and space for summer Lunch Bus diners. Plus the approach will be regraded for a more open and accessible entrance.

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