Work on the Winona Library's new canopy could begin as soon as next week, after the approval of a bid Monday.
Wapasha Construction Company put in a bid for $184,902 to construct a stone replacement for the current blue awning, and it was accepted by the City Council.
$143,000 was 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 blue awning is part of the 1987 addition to the building, and will be replaced with a permanent stone structure. The new structure will not only be a better match for the architecture and materials of the building, but will also include drainage to channel rain away from the entrance. Currently, during hard rain, the water funnels right into the library lobby.
Library Director Lezlea Dahlke says the library may need to be closed to the public for small periods of time, but those disruptions would be minimal.
Dahlke says the library will also be gaining 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.
In the approval, City Council member Michelle Alexander said the project shows the city's commitment to their own downtown buildings and making them feel appropriate to the historic area as they encourage other developers to do so as well.