BELTON — The Lena Armstrong Public Library in Belton is now starting a new — more colorful — chapter as the city works on exterior improvements.
The library — originally brown — has now received a fresh coat of white paint and a new mural as part of the city’s master plan for the building. The goal of the improvements is to update the facade and landscaping of the building in order to increase its visibility.
Belton spokesman Paul Romer said the project has gone slower than some other projects but should be completed by September.
“This fiscal year ends in September, so I anticipate the exterior work will be complete before then,” Romer said. “The timeline for completion is more extended than a typical project, because most of the work is done by city of Belton staff, which fits the work in with other responsibilities.”
The city conducted a survey of the city in 2018 to find what residents wanted for the building, and compiled a list of suggestions into a strategic plan for the library.
Improvements for the building include various visual and practical changes, including some repairs, at the cost of more than $96,285.
Visual improvements on the structure include the painting of all four sides of the building, adding a new front door and building a new canopy at the entrance.
The library has also completed improvements such as increasing library signage and repairing a nearby sidewalk to make it accessible for those with disabilities. The city also plans on running electricity to the front of the library for more food truck access.
The city also commissioned a new mural on the building by graffiti art group Laced and Found LLC.
The group specializes in creating large scale graffiti murals through the use of spray paint and has worked on other local murals such as the one for Treno Pizzeria & Taproom in Temple.
“The mural is terrific,” Kim Kroll, director of library services, said. “The artists, Jay and Riki Rivera of Laced and Found, were great to work with and very receptive of our ideas.”
Kroll said the library is currently only making changes to its exterior but plans to transition its focus into the interior of the building next year. She said she hopes to be able to maximize the library’s existing space.