KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The North-East branch of the Kansas City Public Library is getting a new look in the New Year.
The $3.5 million project is possible because voters passed an eight-cent levy increase in 2018.
Since mid-December of last year, employees have been clearing out the building and moving into a temporary space just across the street as they prepare for renovations.
The renovations will include several changes, both inside and outside. New lighting, shelves, meeting spaces and additional services will be provided to better serve the Northeast community.
"The design of this building is basically what I like to call a community living room," Deputy Director of Library Services, Joel Jones said. "A place where people in the neighborhood can come if they're new to this neighborhood, new to this city feel welcome."
The location will be the hub for immigration and refugee services. RISE, which stands for Refugee and Immigration Services and Empowerment, is currently located at the downtown branch. Roughly 250 to 300 people benefit from the program each month.
However, once renovations are completed at the North-East branch, services will move to that location.
"They will have offices and consultation rooms, so they can meet with refugees and they can navigate the path to citizenship," Jones said. "There'll also be a classroom specific for those services -- for those RISE services, where we'll teach language classes, citizenship classes and so forth."
Construction is expected to start in early February, and finish up by the end of the year.
For a look at the progress of the renovation and other changes at the library's other branches, check out Kansas City Public Library's Next Chapter.