The renovated, redesigned children’s room at Saratoga Springs Public Library will host a grand reopening celebration at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Work started on the transformation in early January. The updated children’s room has actually been open since Feb. 22, and parents and children like what they have found.
“We’ve had lots of great responses. Kids seem to really like it,” said Jennifer Ogrodowski, the library’s youth services director.
One of the more popular new items is a large wooden caterpillar in the middle of what used to be called the Rainbow Room. The interactive play device makes sounds when children touch different parts of it.
The Rainbow Room has been renamed The Tree House Room and features several new installations “to foster early brain development in a fun environment,” according to a library statement.
What were once just support columns in the room have been redesigned to look like trees with seating areas around them, Ogrodowski said Wednesday.
“The new space feels much more open, inviting and accessible, and we are very pleased with the reactions we have gotten from children as they enter the room,” said library director Issac Pulver.
“Our hope is that experiences that kids and their families have in the library will help to inspire in them a lifelong love of reading and learning,” Pulver said in a statement.
The cost of the renovations and new furnishings was $425,000. This cost includes not just the work in the children’s room but also paint, wallpaper and carpeting in two ground-floor meeting rooms and an office used by Literacy New York-Greater Capital Region.
Pulver said grants and gifts helped finance the work, including $20,000 from the Saratoga Springs Rotary Club; $19,500 from the Friends of Saratoga Springs Public Library; $9,000 in grants obtained by state Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna, and former state Sen. Roy McDonald; and $52,000 from the New York State Library Division of Library Development.
The general contractor for the project was Giangrande Building Services of Castleton. The electrical work, including all new lighting, was done by LaCorte Companies of Troy.
While the transformation was taking place and contractors were busy in the library’s basement — where the children’s room is located — children’s library activities and materials were moved to the first floor.