If you’re a resident of Clarksville, Ind., you may have noticed the local Clarksville Branch of the Jeffersonville Township Public Library under construction over the past few months.
That is because the library is in the midst of a $1.7 million renovation and expansion, thanks to a donation from the Duke Energy Foundation and the Town of Clarksville Redevelopment Commission.
The 1,723 square foot expansion includes the addition of a large meeting room, which can be divided into two smaller meeting rooms. Other features of the renovation include three study rooms with large screen monitors, 12 new computers, expansion of the teen area, addition of a self-check RFID system, and more.
However the crown jewel of the renovation will be a rain garden — complete with landscaping, a gravel walking path, and signage to identify plants and trees — to help mitigate stormwater runoff from the roof of the new addition. The rain garden will be a shallow depression that is planted with deep rooted native plants and grasses, allowing stormwater to be cleaned naturally by diverting polluted runoff from our waterways.
The hope of the library is that the rain garden will serve as an educational resource, teaching adults and children about the importance of planning for stormwater runoff, how rain gardens help minimize water pollution and the critical role native plants play in pollination.
It will also be mutually beneficial to both the Library and to Duke Energy, which is located across the street from the Clarksville branch. The renovations are intended to mitigate repeated flooding that has affected both the Clarksville branch and Duke Energy whenever there are heavy rain.
The Clarksville Branch Library project is being partially funded by a general obligation bond, a $75,000 grant from the Town of Clarksville Redevelopment Commission, a $17,850 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation, and private fundraising through the Jeffersonville Township Public Library Foundation.