With a lot of help from the community, Downtown Dyersburg's old Piggly Wiggly building is steadily completing its transformation into a new home for the state-of-the-art, ADA-compliant McIver's Grant Public Library.
With plans now in place for the interior, members of the library's Foundation Board are in the process of awarding the bid for construction. After the bid is accepted, the organization will begin the approval process with USDA Rural Development and officials.
The library's interior plans feature many amenities allowing the library to become the center of the community, including an updated fašade, an adjoining learning garden, a large 'avenue' leading into the heart of the library and a roomy children's section. A safe room, coffee bar, an area dedicated to genealogy, project rooms, conference rooms, plenty of storage space and a birth- to 3-year-old room where mothers may read to their infants and toddlers are also included.
A large community room complete with a kitchen and restrooms will allow residents to use the library for additional community events. Featuring a separate entrance, restrooms and a kitchen, the space is designed to be accessed after hours.
Work has already begun on the building, with roof repairs already under way as the public attended a preview party in late June. Library officials feel the more accomplished prior to the actual construction, the less it will cost in the loan process.
All the while, the capital campaign continues - steadily growing in a difficult economy, with individuals, civic organizations, industry and local business joining together to invest in the community through the new library.
To date, $1,914,190 has been raised toward the capital campaign's $3,000,000 goal, with an additional $115,471.17 received as in-kind donations.
In-kind donations range from dogwood trees and a grand piano to professional services and even a home donated by the Dyersburg Women's Club.
"Burk's Beverage has been very supportive of the effort to build our new library," said Capital Campaign Chair Katie Winchester. "They continue to stay involved in fundraising efforts and we appreciate them greatly."
"We believe that a community needs a good library to attract and inform people who can help our city progress," said Ermco President and CEO Bill Reffert. "We are pleased to be a part of this great effort."
"We truly appreciate the support of Ermco and the generosity of Plant Manager Bill Reffert," said Winchester. "The programs and added services of a new county library will be a tremendous asset to everyone in our community. An attractive, modern public library sends a strong signal to residents and visitors that Dyer County is serious about education, cultural enrichment, community development and economic growth. This generous contribution from Ermco moves us closer to our goal."
"I am amazed at the backing we've had from the citizens," said Project Manager Porter Ryland. "(In this economy), it shows that they feel it is a worthwhile cause. I think it is going to be a wonderful project for Dyersburg and Dyer County, a real benefit for the city."