The children’s room at Saratoga Springs Public Library is getting a $425,000 renovation and refurnishing starting Wednesday.
“It will be a top-to-bottom transformation of the room,” said library director Ike Pulver.
While the transformation is taking place and contractors are busy in the library’s basement — where the children’s room is located — children’s library activities and materials will be located in the Harry Dutcher Community Room on the library’s first floor.
Jennifer Ogrodowski, head of the library’s youth services, said the work in the children’s room is expected to take approximately six weeks.
During that time children’s library materials, a selection of toys from the library’s Rainbow Room, and special programs for children and families will be held in the Dutcher Community Room.
The library is located at 49 Henry St. in downtown Saratoga Springs.
The ongoing children’s programs will include Family Story Time, Library Babies, and a smaller version of the library’s Parent Child Workshop.
The children’s room renovation will include painting, new wallpaper, new carpeting, and new seating for adults and children.
The popular Rainbow Room will be expanded to double its current size. Wall-mounted, manipulative, hands-on learning stations for toddlers and younger children will be installed on the walls of the Rainbow Room, Ogrodowski said.
“Shelving will be reoriented so the room has a more open feel to it,” Ogrodowski said. A second self-checkout station will be added.
Pulver said the reference desk in the children’s room will be changed so that library staff members are out “front and center” rather than behind a large post.
Gina Michelin, the library’s new community relations coordinator, said most of the children’s room materials had been moved up to the Dutcher Community Room by late Friday afternoon.
“It’s going to be spectacular,” Michelin said about the children’s room renovation.
The children’s room has always been a popular place for the community. Michelin said she remembers bringing her daughter to the Rainbow Room when she was a baby.
The project has received donations of $20,000 from the Saratoga Springs Rotary Club and $20,000 from the Friends of Saratoga Springs Public Library.
Pulver said the project also received a $52,167 grant from the state’s Public Library Development Fund as well as a total of $9,000 in funding from state senators Roy McDonald and Hugh Farley.
The general contractor for the project is Giangrande Building Services with headquarters in Castleton. The electrical work, including all new lighting, will be done by LaCorte Companies of Troy.
“It is our hope that the new Children’s Room will become a destination for children and families to visit over and over again,” Ogrodowski said.
She said parents and caregivers will find more comfortable furniture as well as new displays and more space to easily browse materials when the renovated children’s room opens in mid-February.