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Dedication for the Library / YMCA Building

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WVIK News
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Fundraising tri-chairs, Tom Thoms, Mark Schwiebert, and Heidi Huiskamp-Collins.

By the end of this year, the former Tri-City Jewish Center in Rock Island will be converted into a facility shared by the Rock Island Library and Two Rivers YMCA. Leaders of the project held a dedication Tuesday.

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future library space in the facility shared by the RI Library and Two Rivers YMCA

One of the chairs of the fund-raising campaign, Tom Thoms, says the partnership will provide much needed services to children and adults.

"There still is an absolute need for character development, for a safe place for kids to go after school, a place for reliable information, career development, and the list goes on."

He says they've reached their fundraising goal of 7.8 million dollars, but because of inflation and supply chain problems, fundraising continues.

Mayor Pro-Tem, 4th Ward Alderperson, and Library Board member, Jenni Swanson, says there are only two other joint facilities like this in the US.

"Where else can parents take their children for sports activities and participate in a book discussion at the same time in the same building ? Where else can parents workout while their children are doing homework and group projects in the same building ? Where else would you find the opportunity to combine reading, learning, and physical activity for parents and children ?"

She calls it a "unique and exceptional collaboration."

Completion is expected late this year.