22 Questions in 2022: What’s the status of the LaGrange Memorial Library renovation?

Published 5:00 pm Sunday, February 27, 2022

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Residents will more than likely be able to enjoy the updated amenities of the LaGrange Memorial Library by Spring 2023 as long as material prices stay level.

Construction on the Alford St. LaGrange Memorial Library, which has been ongoing since early 2021, is expected to be substantially completed by late 2022, said Troup-Harris Regional Library System Director Keith Schuermann. At least four additional months will be needed to install furniture, glass walls and other equipment before it can be open to the public.

The library, which is being temporarily housed at the old Unity Street School, will entail a full modernized renovation of the building and a new layout, including furniture and finishes, spaces for programming, including a larger meeting room, and “much needed” infrastructure improvements such as a new roof, humidity controls and a new exterior surfacing.

Most of the library’s interior and exterior walls have been gutted to prepare for expansion. The library is still attempting to raise at least $1.48 million more to finish the $6.3 million project comfortably.

“We have enough money to get the construction done … but following that construction, we’re going to need a lot of money for furniture, fixtures, equipment [and] there’s a lot of glass walls in our design,” Schuermann said.

Jay Johnson, vice president of Principal Construction, who is in charge of the project’s renovation, added that the project should stay within budget. Some of the aesthetic aspects of the project such as lighting fixtures need to be ordered as soon as possible due to recent inflation issues.

“We have a few issues to work around, but we will be,” Johnson said. “In the grand scheme of our project, we are going to come pretty close. We’ve got the design team on board to make some considerations as far as letting loose some of the [design elements] they were really hanging on to.”

Schuermann said the library is planning to push for corporate sponsorships or naming rights to garner the remaining funds.

Late last year, the library sent out 800 letters inquiring citizens to donate to the project. Schuermann said the campaign netted $30,000 overall. With this donation, the project has generated $153,000 of the $1.48 million shortfall.