By fall, Ridgewood's half-century-old library will be demolished. In its place – at a – will be a brand new library.
The original project, including tech upgrades, was tabulated at $850,000. As of mid-January, Ridgewood High School Learning Commons, an off-shoot of the high school's HSA, has raised $925,000.
It's enough to get going, but doesn't include everything initially dreamt of.
"The revised estimate for the project before any technology additions is $925,000," the group wrote. "Although we realized some cost savings by eliminating the café, we will incur additional costs for furniture suitable for flexible uses, extra electrical receptacles required to meet the charging needs of our students, additional lighting recommended to enhance the space, and construction design and management fees. Of course, until bids are actually received in April, all estimates are still rough approximations."
The hope is the new library becomes the hub of intellectual life at the high school. Its features offer far more than a traditional library, particularly the tight space that currently exists.
"The Learning Commons will serve as a multimedia center, reading room, study hall, group study venue, movie theater and home for students, staff and parents to meet – all in one!"
The largest donations have come from the school board (at $400,000) and funds raised by a gala ball in January. But donations of all sizes have been received.
The Orchard Elementary School teachers raised $425 toward the project by hosting a game booth at the Fun Day fall festival and the Orchard Girl Scouts chipped in $250 with cookie sale money. This brings the elementary school to the $1,000 level.
RHS Learning Commons has previously said they've received strong support from parents of elementary school and middle school children, whose kids will soon be able to take advantage of the library.
Fundraising to bring in another $200,000 for technology upgrades will continue through the winter. You'll receive a brick outside the learning commons with a $1,000 check. You can also submit smaller donations at this link.