Mowrey Elementary’s Library Selected as Finalist for $40,000 Makeover


WAYNESBORO – Mowrey Elementary’s Library needs public support as one of 12 finalists for a $40,000 facility makeover. Help Mowrey win the final competition. CLICK HERE or go to “” by January 31, 2024 to vote for Mrs Smith in the Library category.

KI (kay eye), an employee-owned furniture manufacturer in Green Bay, WI, is sponsoring their second annual Learning Space Design Competition. The competition is offered to K-12 educators in the United States.

A total of four winners in east, central, west and library categories will be awarded up to $40,000 each for a space makeover. Another eight runners up will receive 30 Ruckus whiteboards.

Mowrey’s Librarian, Mrs. Jennifer Smith and Mr. Keith McCray who does IT for the district, submitted an application using KI’s free classroom planner tool on December 21, 2023.

Mrs. Smith said she was not sure what made their design stand out. “We thought a coffee shop style would work well because we noticed our students like to get comfortable in a chair or lean against things, and work in nooks and crannies with partners. Our design aimed to suit what we saw them doing.”

Mr. McCray added that the redesigned space is intended to make kids more comfortable. “If they’re in their comfort zone they are more likely to read, to attempt more difficult books, and to talk among themselves.”

Out of hundreds of applications submitted between December 1 – 31, 12 finalists were announced January 19, 2024. Winners will be selected by public vote ending January 31, 2024, and announced February 2, 2024.

Furniture installations will take place between Presidents’ Day and spring break in 2024.

Mrs. Smith and Mr. McCray received the email advising they were selected as one of 12 finalists in early January. “We submitted a video by January 17 showing our current space and discussing what we intended” said Smith.

The public vote is where area residents come in. “This is an opportunity to upgrade one of our libraries based on the initiative and imagination of one of our staff” said Superintendent Rita Sterner-Hine. “We have a lot of good people like that in the district” she added. “This $40,000 grant will be used to offset the WASD costs in upgrading the Mowrey Library and will use a design inspired by Mrs. Smith.”

The Waynesboro Area School District is asking residents to CLICK HERE or go to “” by January 31, 2024 and vote for Mrs. Smith in the Library category to help win the final competition.

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