Work begins on $958,000 library upgrade

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, April 24, 2001

Lincoln County Public Library patrons will soon have somethingnew to “check out” with an expansion that officials say will meetsome pressing needs at the facility.

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Monday morning for the$958,000 project, 5,000 square feet expansion that is expected takeabout eight months to complete.

“It’s something we’ve worked hard on and are looking forwardto,” said Henry Ledet, library director.

An official notice to proceed with the 240-calendar day projectwill be issued Monday, April 30. However, Paul W. Jackson, withwinning bidder Paul Jackson and Son, said contractors will move intemporary facilities this week.

“We’re going to get a little bit of a jump on it,” Jacksonsaid.

Planned improvements include a new children’s area, theinstallation of an elevator and upgrading of entrances and otherareas for handicap accessibility. Library officials said additionalspace is also needed for books.

“I’m really excited,” said Carolyn Patterson, a member of thelibrary’s board of trustees. “It will help fulfill all of ourneeds.”

Also in the contract are two additional project aspects, Jacksonsaid. Those include mezzanine work in the existing building andcompletion of finishings and other work related to new offices anda kitchen area.

To fund the project, the library received a $500,000 grant fromthe Mississippi Library Commission.

“I’m looking forward to everything that’s going to happen,” saidMargaret Murray, director of Development Services for thecommission. “It’s going to be beautiful.”

Also, as a requirement of the grant, the Lincoln County Board ofSupervisors last year approved a bond issue to match the grantfunds. Payments on the bonds will be about $94,000 a year for thenext 10 years.

“The board is always interested in improving the quality of lifein the community,” said County Administrator Tillmon Bishop. “Oneof the ways to do that is helping with project like this.”

William Crawford, a member of the library’s board of trustees,was pleased to see the expansion project get under way.

“We appreciate the cooperation of the board in helping to makethis project possible,” Crawford said.

With the improvements, Murray indicated that local patrons willnot be the only beneficiaries of the expansion project.

“It’s going to be great for Brookhaven, Lincoln County and theentire Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin Public Library System,” Murraysaid.