Construction is set to begin soon. Construction bid went to Vannoy and Sons Construction Company in Jefferson. A groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion is planned for Monday, May 19 at 11 a.m. at the construction site.
The move went well, said Library Director Jim McQueen. The library was closed for about two weeks while staff members took all the books, magazines and videos off the shelves for the professional moving company to pack and move to the temporary site along with all the shelves, desks and equipment. Then the materials were replaced on the shelves. “It seems books can do more than exercise your mind,” joked one staff member. “We exercised our muscles as well.”
The temporary site at Jefferson Station will be the library’s home for at least a year. Staff members are pleased with the location and space.
“Everything is very good,” said McQueen. “Everything fit in nicely. Staff is pleased and all the comments from the public so far have been positive. We were very busy on Wednesday since we were closed for awhile.”
McQueen said he is very pleased that the library was able to move the entire collection and still have plenty of space. “One of the most pleasant surprises is that there’s a lot of open space. We’re not crowded at all,” he said.
Library patrons will note that all videos, for adults and children, are located in the same area although the book collections are separated. There is plenty of parking for patrons off Hice Street. The library’s outside book drop, the big red box, is located at the Hice Street entrance to Jefferson Station, underneath Stephen Shoemaker’s train mural. Patrons can also access Jefferson Station from the intersection of E. Ashe Street and S. Third Avenue (behind Mt. Jefferson Presbyterian Church) if they park on Jefferson Avenue. Parking spaces at that entrance are limited to 30 minutes.
To help the library in its fundraising for the renovation and expansion project, a “Bricks for Books” campaign is underway. Donors can purchase a brick to be placed in the front walkway of the library. Forms are available in a display as you enter the library at its Jefferson Station location.
Bricks may be purchased for $100 each, which will go to the library’s furnishing and equipment fund, and is tax deductible. Each brick can contain up to three lines of 20 characters on each line and can include names, dates and messages selected by the donor. A character means any letter, number, space or punctuation mark. This is an exciting opportunity to honor a loved one or pet, celebrate a new child or grandchild, commemorate a special occasion, military service, family, civic group or just because. It is an opportunity to leave a legacy for future generations and help the library continue its grand tradition of serving the community.
For more information about the library’s new location and the “Bricks for Books” campaign, call the library at 846-2041. The phone number and hours for the library will be the same during the relocation. Activities such as Story Time for children and the Friends Book Sale will also continue.
Financing for the library’s renovation and expansion will be handled through the Bank of America. Their low bid of 3.059% interest on a 10-year loan not to exceed $4 million, was accepted by the Ashe County Board of Commissioners at the Monday meeting. The construction bid from Vannoy was accepted in March for $3,213,600.