Houstons expansion begins: Project will add nearly 4,000 squa

Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
Shovels in hand, supporters of libraries in Clark County break ground on an expansion for Houston Library in South Charleston: (from left) Clark County Public Library Director John McConagha; former Houston Fund and Bennett Fund trustees Sally Miller, Doris Rea and Elizabeth Wise; Jerry Geuy of Geuy Construction; Houston Library Director Tammy Harshbarger; South Charleston village commissioner James McKinney; and Clark County Library trustees Walt Szczesny, Daniel O’Keefe and Terry Mustar.

On June 5, Houston Library officials broke ground on a 4,000 square-foot expansion. The project is the second addition for the 80-year-old South Charleston library. The first addition was completed in 1985 and now serves as a children’s room.

“It’s been a long journey. We’ve always dreamed of an expansion,” said Director Tammy Harshbarger.

The project, which is slated for completion in March 2008, includes expansion of the library on both sides of the main entrance, parallel to Jamestown, and back along the right side. The result will be an L-shaped building that greatly expands on the library’s current 2,400 square feet of space.

One of the main features will be a large meeting and program room. A new children’s area, separate adult reading area, more rest rooms and other improvements also are planned. The new configuration will require renovation of the existing square footage.

The building design is the work of MKC Associates of Powell. Geuy Construction of Rosewood, Ohio, is the general contractor.

According to Jerry Geuy, the library will be able to remain open for business through all but a couple of days of the construction process. The work schedule, which puts the additions before the renovations, is designed to minimize downtime, he said.

At the groundbreaking, John McConagha, director of the Clark County Public Library system, recognized various individuals and groups on hand for the event. Counted among them were library trustees, village commissioners, library staff members, and former Clark County Library Director Bob Saunter.

The original Houston Library building was completed in 1927 with $20,000 left to the Village of South Charleston by brothers Edwin and Leon Houston. The library became part of the Clark County Public Library system in 1958. Its service area includes South Charleston (population 1,850), South Solon, South Vienna, Pitchin and beyond.

Houston Library is located at 5 W. Jamestown St. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The library is closed on Sunday. For more information on services and programs, go to www.ccpl.lib.oh.us or call 937-462-8047.

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