BROOKSVILLE — Phase one of the Bracken County Public Library community room addition started Thursday.
BCPL Director Christian Schroll said crews with Trace Creek Construction out of Vanceburg starting excavati0n on Thursday morning in order to ready the area for foundation work.
“They’re digging for foundation and getting equipment set up for the ongoing phases,” Schroll said. “They’re working in the area of our new addition.”
Schroll said work is expected to be completed later this year.
“It’s expected to be complete within 190 days,” he said.
According to Schroll, the community room will be built next to the children’s area of the library in order to accommodate more programming. The current room has a maximum capacity of 30 to 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.