The community room

May 22, 2014 By Steven R. Peck

A versatile and well-used facility seeks a citizen boost for needed improvements

The familiar, popular --and useful --community room at the Riverton Branch Library needs a facelift.

Perhaps that is the wrong term. This is more than cosmetic surgery. The room is fitted with the same furnishings, accessories and technology that it had the day it opened more than 30 years ago. Years of use by countless individuals and organizations have taken their toll.

A citizen coalition, working in cooperation with the library, is out to change the situation for the better. It has set a fundraising goal of $47,200 to renovate the community room.

That is a sizable chunk of change for almost anyone as an individual, but it is a manageable sum of money for a community to raise through private contributions.

It would be nice, of course, if Fremont County government would fund the purchase of new carpeting, new chairs, new drapes and new audio-visual equipment.

The county, of course, thinks it would be even better if the private fundraising effort could cover the cost instead. If the funding request to the county did have to be made, budget makers would look more kindly on a project that had matching funds from private contributors.

That is what the fundraising effort is all about. The new Community Room Project has a good plan. Its budget is responsible and far from extravagant. If the planned improvements were to be used for the same amount of time that the original installation was, total cost for the renovation would be just a bit more than $4 per day.

When you look at it that way, there is nothing to it financially -- so long as library users will chip in.

Consider funding for five to 10 days' worth of the renovation. Consider a contribution of $10, $25 or $50.

If you have ever attended a meeting or a performance at the community room, presented an event at the community room, watched a child or grandchild play a piano recital there, or simply like the idea of having a smaller community meeting space available at low cost, then you are a perfect candidate to make a contribution to the Community Room Project.

Fundraising organizers noted that there were 200 events in the community room last year alone. Thousands of community meetings and performances have taken place there over the decades, every one of them free of charge to the audience. That is a facilities-use model well worth continuing.

Watch The Ranger for information about the series of entertaining events coming up to help raise money. And if you would like to contribute directly and immediately, it's easy. Simply call the library at 856-3556 and say "I would like to contribute to the Community Room Project." They will take it from there.

It's easy for even the most conscientious among us to take public facilities for granted. The welcoming, unassuming, versatile community room at the Riverton Branch Library is one such facility. Now it could use a little assistance from all who have used it so productively and enjoyably.

This is a good project with an achievable financial goal. Let's all help get it done.

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