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Library expansion begins

September 01, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

Officials with the Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Public Library broke ground Wednesday on a $465,000 expansion designed to help deal with cramped conditions and increase its collection space.

The only office space in the Polk Street building for library officials to work is a small room behind the front desk, and the room is stuffed with materials stacked to the ceiling.

"It's just unacceptable," said Susanne Koenig, president of the library's board of trustees.

Demand for the library's services is growing.

There has been an annual circulation increase of about 4,000 items in the last 10 years and library officials are noticing that more people are coming to the library from outlying areas of the county.

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Wednesday morning, library officials broke ground on a 60-foot-by-35-foot expansion.

The "L"-shaped addition, which will extend off the rear of the library, will be constructed by Minghini's, Koenig said.

Construction could start in about two weeks, and it will take about six months to complete, Koenig said.

The addition will not only free up more working space in the library but will allow it to double the amount of room for adult books, and increase space for special activities, children's areas and other operations, Koenig said.

The project will add 22 spaces to the parking lot.

About 70 people attended the groundbreaking, a testament to the community's support for the expansion, said Nancy Spencer, treasurer of the library's board of trustees.

The project was funded by donations from the public, some up to $10,000, the Jefferson County Commission and the state budget digest, Koenig said.

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