Ground broken for new library
by Elsie Hodnett
LINCOLN – Officials were all smiles at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Public Library.

“I’m just so happy to see this coming to fruition,” said Councilwoman Sadie Britt, who serves as the library liaison. “It has been in the works for years. We had big plans and hopes five years ago, but the economy was not favorable for those plans at that time. We just kept our hopes high and now it’s finally coming true.”

Mike Painter, superintendent with Murray Building Company, which is constructing the new library, said work began around the beginning of the month.

“We are working on grading and getting dirt work done and erosion control,” he said.

Painter said the new library is approximately 7,500 square feet. The one-story building includes 12 rooms of varying sizes, including the main library section which is approximately 55-by-65-feet.

“The estimated time for the project to be finished is around the first of November,” he said.

Former Library Board Chairwoman Gloria Albright, who served in that position for 14 years, said she was serving when the plans were started.

“We thought we were ready, but it didn’t work because of the economy,” she said. “I’m glad to see it come to fruition.”

Current Library Board Chairwoman Ann Reddy said the board is just delighted to take on the project Albright started and continue it.

“Everywhere I’ve lived, the library has been the centerpiece of a vibrant community,” she said. “The board has worked very hard in preparation for the new library. I think the excitement will continue to build as the day grows nearer.”

Library Director Melanie Harris said the new library will allow for expanded services.

“The residents have been asking for a new library—one with visibility and that is modern and up-to-date,” Mayor Bud Kitchin said. “The library board has been diligently at work to bring it to the point we are at today. I think a new library would be a great Christmas present for Lincoln.”

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© 2013