By Pamela West-Finkle

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! A big thank you to Kari Haugeto for rescuing a box of decorations at the transfer station and decorating the library, to Gloria for donating an adorable Christmas tree she won in a raffle, and to Judy Garrison for donating some additional lights. The library looked especially festive this year!

Another thank you goes out to our new volunteer, Deb Slating, who just moved to Andes from South Jersey where she used to work in the library system down there. Deb has been helping Kari and me with the painstaking process of researching catalog information and deciding what we can barcode and what we have to send back to Four County for processing. We have discovered that we own quite a few books that are unique to the system. We’re also weeding the fiction section prolifically, so please visit the porch and especially our overflowing book sale room.

After seven months of deliberation, the library decided to move forward with the recommended flood mitigation project to go along with our expansion and ADA compliance construction project. The historic part of the library will be preserved at a new elevation (pending approval from the State Historic Preservation Office); the 1974 addition (where our current main entrance circulation room and bathroom is located) will be demolished and rebuilt to code with handicap accessibility on top of a special foundation designed for flood mitigation; and if we can raise enough money from state and local sources, we can add on our children’s room. If we run short on funds, we will make the children’s room a 2nd phase construction project.

We have applied for design money from CWC, and, once we have heard back from SHPO, we will begin redesigning and the rebuilding of the 1974 addition and start procuring the necessary environmental and structural tests and building permits. If all goes well, we will put the project out to bid this coming summer, submit our foundation and additional state grants by September 1st, move the gazebo and dismantle the deck in fall of 2019, relocate in March 2020, and begin the flood mitigation work after the spring thaw in 2020.

We are currently looking for someone with construction and/or project management experience to join our board, or, at the very least, join the construction project committee. Although I have learned a great deal about project management through this process, it would be wonderful if someone from the community with this expertise would be willing to help guide us. Also, if anyone in the community has questions about the project, feel free to call or email me here at the library and I will be happy to discuss the project with you. ~