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Lahaina design company steps up to help with library facelift

By Staff | Dec 23, 2010

Lahaina Design Center and Archipelago owner Rick Cowan and Lahaina Public Library Branch Manager Madeleine Buchanan check the original floor plan of the library. Photo by Maui Communicators.

LAHAINA — Design work is under way on Lahaina Rotary Club’s “Operation Facelift” for Lahaina Public Library, said club President Carmen Karady.

She announced that Rick Cowan, owner of the new Lahaina Design Center and Archipelago located in the Lahaina Business Center across from Emerald Plaza at 75 Kupuohi St., is donating his talent to create a master plan for the project.

According to Cowan, he plans to include recommendations for adjusting the interior space to take advantage of ocean breezes, paint colors for interior walls and repairs needed on the exterior and interior of the building.

He will help select new library furniture pieces, and Cowan is considering redesigning some of the bookshelves to lower them to promote better air flow, as well as redoing the break room for the library staff.

For the latter two parts of the project, Cowan plans to solicit area carpenters and contractors for materials and assistance.

Cowan is working closely with Library Branch Manager Madeleine Buchanan to ensure plans meet library patrons’ needs and traffic flow considerations.

He said that once his design is complete, his team will do a 3-D web presentation for the Hawaii State Library System to gain input and support.

This past summer, the Rotary Club of Lahaina held a benefit and raised $5,000 for the library to purchase new furniture. An additional $3,000 has been donated since.

Rotarians plan to hold a second fund-raiser in 2011 to support the library.

“In the tradition of Rotary, we hope much of the work involved in the facelift can be accomplished through donations of time and professional talent. We’d like the money raised to go for the purchase of needed materials and furniture,” said Karady.

Furniture purchases will be made once the master plan is done.

Complementing “Operation Lahaina Library Facelift,” Maui Friends of the Library donated $25,000 for the purchase of a self-checkout system that will free staff to more efficiently help patrons with questions and requests.

This system, like those used at some grocery stores that allow customers to scan bar codes on items themselves, has been installed recently and is now being introduced to library patrons.

Lahaina Public Library overlooks Lahaina Harbor. It is located on the grounds that once housed a palace for King Kamehameha.

Cowan emphasized that the library not only provides important services to area families, but it’s also is a destination for tourists.

“This is an important facility for many reasons, and I’m delighted to help make it more welcoming for everyone,” he said.

A designer with a track record of award-winning home and business designs, Cowan moved his business from Oahu to West Maui this summer. He and his team offer full-service home design, specializing in kitchens, baths, great rooms and new homes.

Carpenters and contractors interested in volunteering to help with “Operation Lahaina Library Facelift” should call Cowan at the Lahaina Design Center at 667-0808.