By Ralph Dickerson
Hancock County Public Library Director Tina Snyder expressed pleasure at the progress made on the new $2.3 million library being built in Lewisport. The new library sits on Second Street, at the site of the old Lewisport Elementary School.
“Progress is going well,” Snyder said. “I am thrilled by the work the subcontractors are doing. Jacob’s Group, our General Contractor, is on top of things, which eases my mind and the board’s mind.”
Snyder said the grant the Hancock County Library Board received called for the project to be completed 330 days from the official start of construction. According to this requirement, the library must be completed sometime in early April of 2021.
“We are on schedule for the spring of 2021,” Snyder said.
Construction crews started installing the sheeting, which goes on before putting on the roof. Snyder said the site manager expects the dry-in process, where the building is made weather proof to allow heating the interior, to start this week. She also expects the roof to go on this week, or by next week at the latest.
The library contains 8,450 square feet, Snyder said. The new library comes equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to make it a world-class facility.
“We will have 10 public use computers in the open community space,” Snyder said. “The teen space will have four computers, and we will have educational computers in the Children’s area.”
One of the more interesting features is the furniture. Snyder said furniture with build in charging stations would be placed throughout the building. In addition, near the circulation desk a tall café height charging station/device dock is planned. Snyder said it allows a person to come in and plug in their tablet to check their email, or simply charge their device.
Snyder said the new library contains several dedicated spaces for various programs and uses. A dedicated children’s area, Children’s programming area and a teen space exist. The floor plan includes a large, open-area living room, two study rooms, a large community meeting room and other amenities.
“We will have a local history room which will house our genealogy material,” Snyder said.
The library also contains a covered drop box area, which allows patrons to drop off materials without getting out of their vehicles, and be protected from the weather. In addition, a dedicated staff room is part of the floor plan.
“We will have a front porch and a back porch,” Snyder said. “We are not sure of the furniture there yet.”
Snyder said a covered outdoor programming area is being built on the northeast corner of the building, near the alley, facing the Lewisport Community Center. The Lewisport library also contains a coffee bar, just like the Hawesville Main Branch. The library is designed to not only meet the needs of the community now, but for many years to come.
“The library is a lifelong learning center of activity,” Snyder said. “We will continue to create multiple opportunities for our county through the services provided inside and outside of this new facility.”