Some 300 members of the Lahaina community turned out Sunday for a grand reopening of the Lahaina Public Library after a remodeling project done without public funding.
The $300,000 volunteer remodeling of the 57-year-old Lahaina Public Library was led by the Lahaina Rotary Club and Maui Friends of Library, who marshaled in-kind and monetary donations and volunteers from the community.
Twenty-one contractors donated $155,000 in services to help modernize the interior of the library, while 60 volunteers stripped the facility to bare walls and packed, stored, returned and reshelved 35,000 books, a news release about the event said.
Pastor Laki Kaahumanu stands alongside Rotary Club of Lahaina’s Sara Foley and volunteer John Tryggstad to offer a blessing Sunday at the reopening ceremony for the Lahaina Public Library.
Those contractors and volunteers were honored at the ceremony Sunday on the library's Front Street lawn.
Hawaii State Librarian Richard Burns described the project as "amazing and unprecedented" in an email to project coordinator Sara Foley, a Rotarian and member of the Friends board.
"The amount of support they have marshaled in their community, including volunteers, fundraising, in-kind donations and manpower, are an inspiration," he said. "The efforts of the Rotary Club of Lahaina, Maui Friends of the Library, businesses, residents and everyone else who has been involved or contributed to this project can serve as a shining example for other library projects throughout the state."
The Maui Friends of the Library contributed more than $40,000 to the effort and served as project treasurer. Atherton Family Foundation of Honolulu provided a $30,000 grant, and the Rotary Club of Lahaina raised $30,000 in three benefits.