McIver's Grant Library begins transformation
Progress on the transformation of the old Piggly Wiggly building in downtown Dyersburg to the new state-of-the art, ADA-compliant location for McIver's Grant Public Library is moving swiftly.
Workers are raising the roof of the structure - literally - with steelwork over 'the avenue' of the proposed plans nearly complete. The design allows an abundance of natural light into the building with high windows positioned over the grand entrance leading patrons into the heart of the new library.
A conference room that will double as a community safe room is nearly finished, with workers framing up walls, positioning ductwork and completing structural improvements to support the building's new design.
Residents who toured the old grocery store building during the Library Board's Preview Party in June were provided the opportunity to wander through a full-sized blueprint of the space and daydream of what the library could someday become. With walls now framed on the safe room, the craft room and the office of the children's librarian, those dreams are quickly becoming a reality.
A skeleton to support a future chimney reminds dreamers of plans for a cozy fireplace surrounded by periodicals and inviting chairs. Holes punched in the concrete block along the back of the building will soon be windows, offering natural light throughout the ample children's section. Metal arms and columns will boast bright canopies along the face of the building.
Making the most of every inch of the historic post office building on Mill Street, library employees currently share a nook in the back hall behind the circulation desk. A tour of the new facility rewards the workers for their patience with separate offices for Library Director Sharon Simpson and Children's Librarian Lara Freidhof, as well as a separate bookkeeping office, a staff workroom, ample storage space and a breakroom with a small kitchen. A large circulation desk will also greet patrons as they enter.
A learning garden and dedicated spaces for genealogy and the Friends of the Library used bookstore are planned, as well as a community meeting room featuring a separate entrance and adjoining kitchen and bathrooms. The community room, designed to accommodate 100 to 140 people, will be wired to provide a computer and projection screen. The room is also the new home to a recently donated concert piano.
The new plan caters to residents of all ages, with a comfortable space for mothers to read to babies and toddlers a high priority for library officials. Dedicated areas for children, teens, adults, seniors, healthy-living materials and the latest technology are also a plus. Library staff will be on hand to help with the large variety of computers and technology available to the community.
"It is going to be a world-class deal when we get through," said Project Manager Porter Ryland. "It's coming along. It's coming together. It is such a great deal for Dyersburg and Dyer County."
Ryland said the Library Board is close to completing a bid for the library furnishings and continuing to raise funds toward its $3 million goal. To date, the campaign has raised $2,190,000.
Plans for fundraisers and campaigns to encourage even the smallest contributions are still under way, with library officials hoping to move into the new facility near the end of the 2012 calendar year.