South Charleston: Library construction and renovations continue

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 Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick

Houston Library Director Tammy Harshbarger talks to Jerry Geuy of Geuy Construction about the progress of construction of the library’s new addition, which includes this children’s area.

The paint is sky blue at the top and grass green at the bottom, a color scheme that hints at the outdoor theme to come.

The new children’s room at Houston Library in South Charleston is awaiting carpet, wall murals painted by area resident Tina Spinning, and installation of a tree made of steel and covered in a composite material that will make it look real.

On the other side of the library’s new addition, a community room is taking shape. In between, rest rooms, an office for Director Tammy Harshbarger, and a kitchenette are being outfitted.

By mid-January, the construction team should be ready to renovate the old part of the building and complete the second, smaller addition, which faces Chillicothe Street.

“We’re putting in new flooring, rest rooms, a new ceiling, and giving it a new coat of paint,” Harshbarger said.

These areas will be closed to the public until completed, but that doesn’t mean the library will be closed altogether.

Harshbarger said parts of all of the library’s collections, as well as the computers and Internet access, will be moved into the new community room. The new children’s room will serve as storage during the renovation of the old section of the building.

“The community room is really a nice size. We’ll be able to get quite a bit in there,” Harshbarger said. The room can seat 40 people at tables or 98 people on chairs only.

Patrons will have access to the library via the new entrance on the fenced side of the property, where a new parking lot should be graveled and ready for use. As always, street parking will be available, as well.

“We’ll start moving into the children’s area after we bust through to the old section. We’ll need to pass inspections and get a temporary occupancy permit,” Harshbarger said.

The construction contract calls for the entire project to be finished by March 28. Delivery of furnishings is set for March 31. The library will close for a short period to allow the staff to get the collections and furnishings where they belong.

“We hope to keep the time we’re closed to a minimum,” Harshbarger said.

Upcoming events at the library include a Teen Advisory Board meeting at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 15. Teens will share ideas for future programming and additions to the library’s teen collection. Additionally, the men’s and children’s chess club will meet at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28. The club is open to children 8 years old and up.

“Due to construction, those events may be held in the new community room,” Harshbarger said.

Houston Library is located at 5 W. Jamestown St. For more information on programs or the construction project, call 937-462-8047.

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