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Rotary releases game plan for renovating Lahaina Library

By Staff | Apr 26, 2012

Renovation Committee members attending an early planning meeting include (from left) Librarian Madeleine Buchanan, Dick Starkweather, Shawn McLaughlin, Archipelago’s Rick Cowan, Sara Foley, Mac Lowson, Maui Friends of the Library President Dorothy Tolliver and Norm Bezane. Uwe Schulz, George Lavenson and Sen. Roz Baker are also members of the panel. 

LAHAINA – Rick Cowan, president of Archipelago Maui LLC, has released plans that will turn Lahaina Public Library into a modern facility for the 21st century through a $280,000 renovation project spearheaded by the Rotary Club of Lahaina and Maui Friends of the Library.

His plan calls for a contemporary layout, handsome new bookshelves, a contemporary circulation desk, refurbished floor and painting throughout.

“The 56-year-old library has long been in need of refurbishing,” Cowan said. “It will have a new look in keeping with its prime location next to Pioneer Inn and the harbor.”

A new paint scheme will be in harmony with the library’s many windows.

Librarian Madeleine Buchanan noted a facelift for the library in the heart of Lahaina is long overdue.

Library staff at the contemporary circulation desk will have full views of the entire library. Rendering by Archipelago Maui LLC.

“Now we will be able to have a facility that will do our town proud and offer both residents and visitors a wonderful environment to borrow books, study and use our brand new computers,” she said.

As branch librarian, Buchanan has had ongoing input into the plan and the final say on all recommendations.

Led by Cowan’s donation of design and project management services with assistance from Rotarian Uwe Schulz, architect for Whalers Village and many of the restored historic buildings in Lahaina, the renovation is scheduled to be completed by professional contractors donating their services and a volunteer force of Rotarians and others who will work through the month of July and part of August.

Loren Osborn, Castaway Construction and Restoration, will site manage the project.

Cowan and Rotary Renovation Committee Co-chair Sara Foley have lined up more than $155,000 worth of volunteer contracting services by rehabbers, flooring specialists and painters, and still more volunteers who will pack and store 35,000 books.

The library is expected to close for six to eight weeks for the project.

Leading contributors include the Rotary Club, which has raised more than $20,000 to date from individual contributors and two “Savor the Sunset” fundraisers, with a third event scheduled for June 22 at the Royal Lahaina Resort.

Foley submitted a grant proposal to the Atherton Family Foundation that yielded an additional $30,000.

The massive project managed by a checklist that includes 117 steps has many authors, according to Foley.

Key role players have included three Rotary presidents, Foley said. They are yoga instructor Carmen Karady, who had the foresight to organize the first library benefit at the club’s annual “Savor the Sunset” event to buy new library furniture; President-elect Liz May of 5A Rent-A-Space, who ran two highly successful “Savor the Sunset” benefits and is working on a third; and current President Eric van Ketel of Zensations Spa.

Planning oversight is being provided by a 12- person renovation committee co-chaired by Foley, Buchanan and Maui Friends of the Library President Dorothy Tolliver.

Committee members include Rotarians Dick Starkweather, Mac Lowson, Shawn McLaughlin (developer of the project’s landscape plan), George Lavenson, Norm Bezane, Liz May, Schulz, van Ketel and Foley, as well as Cowan and Tolliver. Sen. Roz Baker, a member of the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunrise, has also signed on.

Rotary’s partner is the nonprofit Maui Friends of the Library, which is providing advice and counsel and serves as project treasurer. The Hawaii State Library System under the direction of State Librarian Richard Burns is also involved. Necessary permits are being sought from Maui County.

The committee is $12,000 short of its fundraising goal for library interior work and also needs to raise funds for a landscaping program to be completed after the refurbishing work, Foley said.

More contributions are needed. Checks marked for the Lahaina Library can be mailed to the Maui Friends of the Library, P.O. Box 1017, Wailuku, HI 96793.