Library renovations nearly completed
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The pigeons that formerly roosted above the entryway of the Copperas Cove Public Library have moved on, thanks to renovation project that enclosed the former architectural details and transformed the space into a reading room.
Work on the project began in the spring of 2018 and continued throughout the summer, with the public restrooms being renovated and brought into ADA compliance, along with retiling in the restrooms and the adjoining hallway, carpet replacement in the main part of the library and repainting.
Kevin Marsh, library director, said they expect to see substantial completion of the project within the next week or two, with a few items extending into late November.
“The major remaining items are tile installation, window sealing, installing window shades, ceiling installation for the reading room, fire alarm updates, relocating bricks in the front walkway and touch-up paint/plaster work,” Marsh said. “We do not anticipate any closures to complete the project, but you may have to go around the outside of the building to get to the Children’s room at times.”
This week, the new reading room, to be named the Joe & Marion Palumbo Reading Room, was taped off, with the Children’s Room being accessible beyond.
The circulation desk, which patrons would walk straight into when using the former entrance, has been relocated to the left of the new entryway, with the former circulation desk area the site of the new lobby.
Despite the construction and movement of books stacks during the project, patrons have continued to utilize the library and attendance was strong during the summer reading program which ran through July.
“Overall the library’s numbers have been down very slightly during the project despite construction noise and other challenges, so we feel that has been a success,” Marsh said. “We eagerly anticipate the improved service we will be able to provide once construction is completed.”
Along with the renovations has come new furniture. So far, the library has purchased new reading chairs with end tables that have USB ports along with standard plugs, for patrons to charge their phones and other electronic devices. There is also new seating in the Teen Zone.
With the Friends of the Library’s donation of $14,000 for the naming rights to the reading room, other naming rights are still available for the lobby, a $16,000 donation; the Teen Zone for $10,000; as well as the public computer area and the meeting room which can be named for donations of $8,000 each.