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Lowe's Foundation gifts for housing rehabilitation and new main library
Grants for housing and technology lab
Published Thursday, October 22, 2020 11:39 am
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

Lowe’s donated $1 million to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation for a new technology center.

The Lowe’s Foundation committed $9.25 million to the Charlotte area.

The city of Charlotte Housing and Neighborhood Services, which received $1.33 million to rehabilitate and preserve single-family affordable housing along the Beatties Ford Road Corridor, intends to use the funding in conjunction with the Corridors of Opportunity program, which was announced in September along with their $24.5 million investment.

Beatties Ford Road is the first of six selected corridors for the initiative, along with Central Avenue and Albemarle Road; Freedom Drive and Wilkinson Boulevard; Graham Street and North Tryon Street, Sugar Creek Road and Interstate 85 as well as West Boulevard.

The Lowe’s funding will facilitate the city’s Safe Home Rehabilitation Program, which helps with essential home repairs as well as older residents age-in-place while protecting low-moderate income families from being pushed out by gentrification. Eligible homeowners will receive funding for repairs to bring their residence to compliance with city code, decrease exposure to lead-based paint, which can create critical health concerns for children under age 6 as well as providing energy efficient and water saving retrofits, which will help reduce a residents utility bills.

Lowe’s also donated $1 million to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation’s $135 million public-private campaign. The donation will go toward building the new Main Library in Uptown, specifically a technology center, which will be named the Lowe’s Technology Lab. In addition to the technology center, the 115,000 square feet new Main Library will feature updated support services and general library operations. Demolition is scheduled for 2021.

The new building will include a lower level for event space, a new main entrance facing Tryon Street on level one as well as a café entrance, lobby, immersive theater area, reading zones and self-service checkpoints.

Level two will consist of a welcome and orientation center for new Mecklenburg County residents, a job training center, counseling services space, the technology center, computer lab, recording studios, digital visualization lab, and an outdoor terrace.

Reading and staff space, as well as most of  the branch’s 160,000 volumes, will be located on level three, with special collections, the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room as well as theater and staff space on level four. The fifth and final level will house administrative offices, a reading room, writer’s studio and porch, as well as an outdoor terrace.

“We are committed to making homes better for all, and our definition of home extends beyond four walls and into our neighborhoods and communities, especially right here in our hometown of Charlotte,” Janice Dupré Little, executive vice president of human resources and chair of the Lowe’s Foundation said in a statement. “Our donation is more than just funds. We’re building futures for families and students by helping to provide access to technology and the most powerful tool of all: knowledge.”

Said Library Foundation Executive Director Jenni Gaisbauer: “The Library has enjoyed a partnership with Lowe’s since 2016, and they’ve invested in our community through branch enhancements, event sponsorships, and a dynamic makerspace at the recently renovated North County Regional Library location. Lowe’s has been with us from the early planning stages for the new Main Library so it’s especially exciting to announce this inspiring investment in the next generation. We are forever grateful.”

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