The commitments include $13.8 million from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which is in addition to a grant of $1.2 million for the project awarded by the foundation in August; $1 million from the Ruth Mott Foundation; and $50,000 from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.
The announcement follows passage of a $12.6 million bond initiative in November to help fund the renovations, with 68 percent of Flint residents voting yes. With construction set to begin in May 2020, the project will double the children's learning space; add three high-tech classrooms and double the digital learning space; increase the space available for local history and genealogy by 66 percent; add six study rooms, nine meeting rooms, and four classrooms; reconfigure existing space to make an additional sixteen thousand square feet available to the public; and improve the building's accessibility for people with disabilities.
"The Flint Public Library is a place to learn for life," said Flint Public Library director Kathryn L. Schwartz. "The complete renovation of the facility and upgraded technology that will be made possible with generous support from Flint residents, local foundations, and individual donors will strengthen that mission."
"The Flint Public Library is a unique civic space for honest and open community conversations," said Ruth Mott Foundation president Raquel Thueme. "We're proud to help strengthen that role into the future and support the library as a core community hub providing inclusive services and digital access for all."