BROOKSVILLE — Though weather has caused some delays, crews are beginning to lay the foundation for the Bracken County Public Library expansion.
BCPL Director Christian Schroll said construction crews are working diligently to stay on schedule with the project.
“Everything is starting to frame up,” he said. “There was a little delay with the weather, but we still hope to have everything completed around the same deadline.”
Schroll said work is expected to be completed later in the year.
According to Schroll, work will consist of building a community room next to the area of the children’s library, in order to allow more programming.
The current room has a maximum capacity of about 30-40 people.
“We’ve noticed there is a growing need for more programming, not just for children, but also adults,” Schroll said. “We have one community room, but it doesn’t always meet the needs. It’s smaller and if someone is using it, there’s no other room in the library for another group to use. This will help to fix that problem.”
Schroll said there will be a little bit of shelving in the room, but most of it will be open in order to have meeting space. There will also be a movie screen in the room.
“We’ll be able to drop it down and show movies in there,” he said. “There’s a lot of limited options for programming, so the major focus has been bringing in opportunities for more programming.”
Construction is expected to take about six to eight months to complete. Schroll said there is currently an outbuilding in the location of the planned construction, but that will be removed.
Schroll said the community room will be about 1,600 square feet and will cost about $750,000 for just the construction. The interior work will bring the total cost to somewhere between $800,000 and $900,000.
According to Schroll, the board talked about the renovation for some time and decided to move forward on it.
“They’ve been saving up for awhile,” he said. “They talked about this. Finally, we said, ‘why talk about it; let’s do it.’ Now, we’re moving forward. As far as plans, this was something that, when I came in, the current regional supervisor over the libraries in the area said it had been talked about, but she wasn’t sure it would get done. Looking at the money we had, I knew the money was there to pay for it, without having to take any extra loans.”
The Bracken County Public Library’s current location was established in 1995. The children’s wing was added in 2007 and the teen area was recently completed. Once the community room is complete, there will be no further renovations due to space.
“With the space we have available, this is the last construction project we’ll be able to do,” he said. “If we were to grow any further, we would need more parking and there just isn’t the space for it. Land wise, there’s just no more build-able area. That was part of the process, to decide what the library needed and to sustain it for a long time.”
Schroll said the current community room, located in the atrium, will also remain as a part of the library.
“The larger community room will be geared more toward library programming,” he said. “The smaller one can still be used for public events. It makes sense to do it that way, because the smaller room isn’t located in the main part of the library, so no one has to walk through the building for the public programming.”
Schroll said he will be taking photographs and keeping a record of the construction process.