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Library plans for $1.5-million remodel

BY HEATHER COX - hcox@h-ponline.com

This time next year, the Huntington City-Township Public Library might look a little different, as the library has plans to undergo some remodeling and updating within the next few months in hopes to improve its space.

Most of the library will get new furniture and carpet, with the exception of the Indiana Room, which has old furniture for a reason, Executive Director Rebecca Lemons said with a laugh.

In addition to new furniture and carpet, Lemons said there are plans to update the Children’s Department as well. The idea is to clean it up to make it more open and more accessible overall.

“That end of the building was put up in 1984 and hasn’t really seen too many updates since then,” Lemons said.

She added that they are also adding a new children’s programming room. As of now, Lemons said the programming art room they have in the children’s area is dark, closed off and hard to get in and out of. There are plans to create a space to replace it that will be more open and welcoming.

“Our main goal is to have a place where kids want to come and stay and read and hang out and do their homework, and we just don’t have the space for that right now because the space doesn’t make sense,” she said.

There are plans to redo staff offices, add two more meeting rooms and do cosmetic work to the building here and there as well.

The library will be opening bids for construction on August 10 and the board will approve a contractor on the 13. After that, they will have a better idea of the timing of the construction.

Lemons did say that they hope to have everything done by May 2019 so they are ready for the summer since it’s their busiest time of year.

Though they do not have exact figures of how much this remodel will cost and will know more after bids are made, Lemons said as of now they expect it to be around $1.5 million.

“That money is money that we have saved in our library improvement fund and also in our rainy day fund so that’s where that money is coming from,” she said.

She explained that the library has been saving money for approximately 10 years, preparing for a situation such as a remodel. Additionally, two years ago they built a new building for the Markle location ended up spending less than they expected, so they are able to use some of that leftover money.