Topeka library to feature new public square known as ‘Claire’s Corner’

A donation from Topekans Glenn and Claire Swogger’s Redbud Foundation will finance the construction of a public space to be known as “Claire’s Corner” at the southwest corner of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th Ave., the library announced Friday.

 

“This new public space includes a year-round all-weather pavilion, an outdoor courtyard with café services and an outdoor amphitheater-type program-classroom area,” the library said in a news release.

The amount of the donation wasn’t being revealed publicly at the request of the Redbud Foundation, a library spokeswoman said.

Work on the project, designed by Topeka-based Tevis Architects, is tentatively set to begin this fall as part of phase two of the master facilities plan approved last July by the library’s board of trustees.

The Library Foundation announced the Redbud Foundation gift April 9 at its annual Wilder Society Tea, and the board of trustees voted Thursday to name the new area “Claire’s Corner.”

The Swoggers and their foundation have long been strong supporters of the library, including making a personal investment that supported the creation of its Millennium Café during a 2002 renovation, the library’s CEO, Gina Millsap, said in Friday’s news release.

”The Redbud Foundation’s generous gift of Claire’s Corner will provide an outdoor learning and program space that will be used most times of the year,” Millsap said.

The Redbud Foundation focuses on arts, culture and the humanities.

“In addition to the courtyard/café expansion, the Redbud Foundation underwrote the library’s costs associated with converting the history collection of the library into a History Neighborhood,” Friday’s news release said.

The library’s master facilities plan includes additional naming opportunities and sponsorships. For more information or to make a pledge, call Nancy Lindberg at (785) 580-4498.

Contact reporter Tim Hrenchir at (785) 295-1184 or @timhrenchir on Twitter.

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