LaGrange Memorial Library renovation ‘on point’ for completion despite supply issues

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, July 20, 2022

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Construction supply concerns continue to be a conundrum for developments across the county, including for the LaGrange Memorial Library.

Keith Schuermann, director of the Troup-Harris Regional Library system, said Tuesday at the Troup County Commissioners meeting that the library renovation project is continuing to have to overcome construction supply shortages and inflation.

“Supply concerns seem to be alleviated at this point, and we’re still on track to be reopened by next spring,” Schuermann said, adding substantial construction progress is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year. The library will need an additional three to four months to complete interior design, such as fixtures and furniture.

Jay Johnson, a vice president with Principal Construction, said several aspects of the project were adjusted to combat the supply chain shortage. One aspect included trading out material for the roof to include four-inch, polyisocyanurate board, which was more readily available than the originally intended material.

“We had a designer that was flexible and allowed us to make some changes,” Johnson said. “Instead of an adhered roof, we went to a mechanical fastener, which allowed us to change the thickness of the form.”

The $8 million project was originally expected to be near completion in late 2022, but the date was pushed back due to a price increase on construction materials.

Schuermann previously said the library renovation project was still shy of approximately $1.48 million, and the library has been pursuing grants to fill in the gap. Of that shortfall, the library has raised $129,633, the majority of which was from a private donor, and public donations through direct mail. Earlier this month, the library received $10,000 to aid in the project, courtesy of the LaGrange Lions Club. 

The library has been operating at the old Unity Street School on Park Avenue since construction began last year. Schuermann noted the location, while operational, has not allowed for more expansive programs outside of its summer reading program.

“We routinely have 100 to 130 people crammed into [the Unity Street School],” he said. “There’s only so much we can do in that rented spot. We get calls every day [asking us if] we have a meeting room [or] a study room. If we can do [different kinds] of programs. Right now, we are just bare-bones services.”

The library’s new design features amenities such as study rooms and expansive children’s areas for its programs.

Renditions of the LaGrange Memorial Library’s renovated design are on display at the Unity Street School.