Thanks to the generosity of local businesses and residents, the Arlington Heights Memorial Library Foundation was able to raise more than $280,000 in cash, discounts and in-kind donations for the Arlington Heights Memorial Library’s new Makerplace, which opened on Sept. 19.
The new Makerplace offers hands-on experiential learning opportunities in its commercial kitchen, sewing and quilting room, a fabrication center and several flexible workspaces.
The Foundation was founded, in part, to raise funds for the $1.4-million-dollar project. So far, the Foundation has provided funds to demolish and construct the lower level sewing and art areas, all of the appliances, tools and equipment in the commercial kitchen, and it secured a substantial discount on 12 Dremel 3D printers for the fabrication center. In total, the Foundation has funded 17 percent of the total Makerplace renovation budget.
“The Foundation has done a great job of building relationships in the community and spreading the word about the Makerplace to raise funds and in-kind donations,” said Makerspace Branch Assistant Manager Chris Krueger. “We are so grateful for their support, and the support we received from the entire community, as we built this incredible resource.”
The Foundation, led by Lauree Harp, is celebrating its third year of raising funds to support the library. Founded to secure large donations from businesses and community members, the Foundation was instrumental in bringing the Makerplace to life.
“Securing in-kind and cash donations for the Makerplace was our first big task from the library,” said Founder and Chair of the Foundation, Lauree Harp. “But the Foundation supports the entire library, not just the Makerplace. When you donate to the Foundation, you can specify that your dollars go to the Makerplace, services for youth and families, senior service or wherever the need is greatest. Moving forward, we will continue to support the Makerplace, but we will also focus our efforts on other programs and areas of the library. We’re excited to work with the community to continue to make the library and the Makerplace an incredible resource for Arlington Heights residents.”
The Makerplace, located at 112 N. Belmont Ave., is now open to the public. Residents can take a tour, sign up for classes and start creating today.
For more information about the Makerplace, visit www.ahml.info/makerplace.