Terra State partners with Birchard Public Library to receive funds for library expansion of building and services

Birchard Public Library
Mockup of the expansion. Photos provided by Birchard Public Library.

Terra State Community College, in partnership with the Birchard Public Library of Sandusky County, has been awarded $600,000 from the state to fund a continuous learning project at the library.

The funding is a part of the $2.1 billion capital budget for the state of Ohio and is used to improve different state projects, including schools and communities.

These funds will be utilized to construct a 8,500 square foot expansion at the library that will offer space for numerous community services including more accessibility overall, Wi-Fi café, children’s room for early literacy development and STEAM activities, recording studio, tutoring rooms, local history room and a multi-sensory room for individuals.

The expansion project opens up the opportunity for a partnership with Terra State and Birchard. The library will offer continuous learning opportunities for Terra State students and workers. The central location of the library provides many opportunities to help students with seeking jobs and acquiring new job skills.

Birchard Public Library will offer internship opportunities for Terra State students studying computer systems, digital media technology, management, music, office administration and other certificate programs.

“We are extremely excited to start this new collaboration with Birchard Public Library,” said Dr. Ron Schumacher, president at Terra State, “We aim to be a driving force in community improvement. As our students become the next leaders in our community, we are excited to bring further opportunities for them to improve and gain essential skills.”

Terra State will also help the library expand opportunities for small businesses and community organizations to conduct training, provide portable equipment for educational and wellness programming in senior centers and daycares and a site for in-house trainings and staff development.

“Birchard Public Library is pleased to partner with Terra State Community College on this joint-use project,” said Pam Hoesman, library director at Birchard Public Library, “This state-of-the-art technology center in downtown Fremont will offer continuous learning opportunities for students and workers in all stages of life. Raising the level of tech skills in the community is a critical component of growing a more prosperous local economy. We look forward to working with Terra State to create life-changing career opportunities for local residents.”

Construction on the expansion is set to last for 12 months. After the expansion project is complete, renovations will begin on the existing library building.

“We are thankful for Representative Bill Reineke’s dedication and advocacy for higher education and workforce development initiatives that expand access and opportunities through the region,” said Schumacher.