With renovations done, officials are ready to show off improvements made to the Logansport/Cass County Public Library.
Director David Ivey says construction wrapped up in October after 10 months of work and an open house has been scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 12. Light refreshments will be served as musicians play the harp and dulcimer and staff and board members give tours, he said.
Last year, the library approved an expenditure of $883,000 for the remodeling project.
Ivey said that the project came in more than $20,000 under budget even with engineers discovering structural issues for seismic events that needed addressed.
“The building is actually much stronger than it was before,” Ivey said. “So, it worked out well.”
Interior renovation work included adding a new computer lab and magazine and reading area upstairs, drywalling and new carpeting in the upstairs, reconfiguration of shelves, removing the main staircase at the entryway of the building and inserting four structural columns to replace the previous shelving units that were the part of the building’s foundation.
As for the exterior, the project entailed an employee parking lot, a limestone sign, a security camera, new front door, new bike rack and outdoor landscaping.
Ivey said he was pleased with the outcome, which proved the success of the board’s intended purpose of creating additional space and better lighting.
“When you stand in the middle of the second floor now, it feels very open, and I think that is surprising to people,” Ivey said.
Removal of the mezzanine that formed two ceiling heights of less than eight foot made way for a ceiling that is more than 12 feet high.
Natural lighting accents the upstairs, which now offers more seating.
Ivey said library users have provided positive feedback about the changes. The staircase whose removal drew criticism got demolished without fanfare, but a few people did say they missed it,
The library stayed open throughout construction. Temporary walls were built to shield the construction noise but patrons still had to deal with the smell of sealant and dust from cutting concrete.
Ivey reported that usage is down about 2 percent compared to last year. He attributes that to the construction activity, but he has high expectations for next year.
“My hope is that in 2011 we’ll have our highest year yet in terms of usage,” Ivey said.
Want to go?
What: Library open house
When: From 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12
Where: Logansport/Cass County Public Library, 616 E. Broadway
Who: The entire community is invited
• Kevin Lilly is news editor of the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.