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| OCT 7, 2013 10:33 AM
After undergoing two months of renovation, New Haven Reads unveiled its remodeled book bank on45 Bristol St. on Sunday—with matching bookshelves, and lots of light.New Haven Reads started out as a book-giveaway storefront 12 years ago. It has grown into a thrivingliteracy center that circulates 100,000 books a year and provides tutoring, education programs, SATprep classes and a summer literacy camp.“Most of [the renovation] was finished by the time we started tutoring, which was the second week of September, but we still had some odds and ends to finish up,” said Tanya Smith, education director and parent liaison of New Haven Reads.“The carpeting is new, everything’s been repainted, the bookcases are new,” said Smith, who hasworked with New Haven Reads since 2008. “Seeing everything unfold was the best part about therenovation, especially for all of us who have been working here and know what it looked like before.”The book bank’s funding comes from grants and donations. The center’s furniture prior to therenovation was all donated.“Whatever piece of furniture came through the door, we kept. We had every combination of desk andchair you could possibly imagine—nothing matched and half of it was broken,” said Smith. “WhenIKEA came in and said they would like to donate furniture, the staff literally started crying.”IKEA donated around $10,000 of furniture—including 27 student desks and counter-tops, four staff desks, 39 bookcases, six rolling file cabinets, 56 chairs, desk lamps and frames—to the $45,000board-approved renovation project. Contractors and tradespeople donated $15,000 of services. Thathelped keep the cost down; the organization expects to have spent under $30,000 when all bills are in.The book bank’s walls have been painted with the colors of the organization’s orange and blue logo,giving the space a clean, refreshing look. The organization’s mission statement—“Share the joy andpower of reading”—has been painted in a decorative font on the wall for people to see right when theywalk in. The building, which Yale donated to New Haven Reads in 2005, had one bathroom for everyone to share prior to the renovation. Now it has two. That mattered to the staff in particular.Before
Book Bank Gets $45K IKEA-Aided Makeover
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