Advertisement

Officials hope to obtain $700,000 in financing to complete first phase of Hedgesville Public Library

April 27, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com
  • Officials hope to borrow about $700,000 to complete the new public library in Hedgesville, W.Va. The shell of the 9,000 square foot building was substantially completed by Minghini's Genera about three months ago.
By Matthew Umstead

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. — Officials hope to complete the first phase of the new public library building in Hedgesville, W.Va., by obtaining about $700,000 in financing through the Berkeley County Building Commission.

Fundraising for the branch library continues, but the financing would expedite completion of the two-story building, Martinsburg-Berkeley County Public Library director Pamela Coyle said last week.

The library system has asked the building commission to help facilitate financing because they are prohibited by law from borrowing the additional money, Coyle said.

Minghini's General Contractors Inc., was awarded a $1.2 million contract in August 2011 to build the shell and complete the first floor of the building as part of the project’s first phase.

Library officials proceeded with construction in October 2011 with the hope that as the more than 9,000 square-foot building took shape, the community would contribute toward its completion.

While the “shell” of the stone and two-tone sided structure is substantially complete, about three to six months of work remains to be done before the new library building in the 200 block of North Mary Street can be opened, Coyle said.

The public will have the opportunity to walk through the building shell on June 1 during the North Mountain Arts Festival in Hedgesville as part of fundraising efforts, according to Coyle.

Due to the delay in obtaining the remaining funding needed, Coyle anticipates the contractor could ask for an adjustment to the contract amount. The cost of the project’s first phase has already increased because the scope of work was widened to include a planned elevator and a second floor meeting room, Coyle said. Those features were originally part of the project’s second phase.

After factoring all of the developments with the project, it could ultimately cost more than $1.3 million, according to Coyle.

Much of the more than $600,000 spent on the project so far has come from broad-based community support, Coyle said.

“We’ve had a lot of people remember us in their wills,” Coyle said. “We’re very, very grateful for all of the support we’ve received,” Coyle said.

Aside from private donations, the library system was able to allocate $50,000 in surplus budget funds toward the project five or six years ago, according to Coyle.

Given the funding issues experienced with the Hedgesville project, Coyle said construction of a new North Berkeley library building will not proceed until they have 75 percent of the funding needed in hand.

The North Berkeley library is to be built on a two-acre parcel donated to the library system by Panhandle Builders & Excavating Inc.

The branch library currently is housed in two former portable classroom buildings on the donated property at 1255 T.J. Jackson Drive. The temporary structures were donated by the Berkeley County Board of Education.

Coyle said the county has a deficit of about 30,000 square feet of library space based on population figures.

When open, the Hedgesville branch library’s holdings will be moved from Hedgesville Town Hall where there are few parking spaces and programming space is extremely limited, according to Coyle. There is parking for 18 to 20 vehicles at the new location, Coyle said.

As a result of the county’s population growth between Census 2000 to Census 2010, the county library system’s state funding increased by more than $100,000, Coyle said.

A portion of the additional funding, which is based on a formula of $5 per capita, is being put into a capital improvement fund, Coyle said.

More information about the library's capital campaign for the Hedgesville branch library, including naming opportunities for donors, is on the Internet at www.berkeleycountylibrary.org.

Advertisement
The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|